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. , LIBRARY . . 

Agricultural College. 

CLASS NO .3..1 J- 1. -O..^ 

cos-r. 4 

DATE S.rt.:|^:.x..l.3... 19.l-i:> 









Professor of Educational Psychology in Teachers College 
Columbia University 

New York 





Copyrisht, 1906 
!y Edward L. Thorndike 

Mason Printing Corporation 
syracuse and new york 


The aim of this book is to make the study of teaching 
scientific and practical — scientific in the sense of deahng 
with verifiable facts rather than attractive opinions, prac- 
tical in the sense of giving knowledge and power that will 
make a difference in the actual work of teaching. It 
follows the example of the better books on education in 
basing principles of teaching upon the laws of psychology ; 
it makes use of modern scientific psychology and especial- 
ly of recent investigations in genetic and dynamic psy- 
chology ; it seeks to make use also of the direct studies of 
teaching itself which have been made by qualified experts ; 
it is arranged as a manual to guide the student in applying 
principles himself rather than as a series of discussions to 
be thought out or, more often, to be simply absorbed. 

The book demands of students knowledge of the ele- 
ments of psychology, particularly of dynamic psychology. 
The references entitled 'Preparatory' (or their equivalent) 
will fulfill this prerequisite. These references are to the 
author's Elements of Psychology, which is in a sense an 
introduction to the present volume, but any standard 
course in psychology which gives due emphasis to the 
laws of mental connections will supply the preparation 

Scientific principles are the back-bone of knowledge 
of teaching but concrete exercises are its flesh and blood. 
For the work of the student of teaching is to get practi- 
cal control of principles by using them. The author offers 
no excuse for using over a third of his pages for such 

vi Preface 

exercises ; indeed, they should occupy more than two- 
thirds of the student's time. They aim in some cases to 
test and increase the student's knowledge of principles; 
in others to insure the habit and power of application of 
general principles to the particular problems of the school- 
room; in others to give training in judging the theories, 
methods and devices which each year's output of edu- 
cational literature brings to a teacher's attention. In all 
cases they aim to make thought about teaching more 
logical and scientific. 

The references for further reading are of two sorts. 
The first, given at the end of each chapter, are to readings 
designed to extend the knowledge given in the text or to 
suggest useful comparisons. These readings are all 
included in ten books so chosen as to give students an 
adequate view of the present status of knowledge and ex- 
pert opinion about teaching, and to form the nucleus of a 
teacher's professional library. They are : — 
J. Adams, The Herhartian Psychology Applied to Edu- 
cation, 1898.^ 
A. Bain, Education as a Science, 1887. 
J. Dewey, School and Society, 1900. 
C. W. Eliot, Educational Reform, 1898. 
E. W. Hope and E. A. Browne, A Manual of School 

Hygiene, 1901. 
W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, 1899. 
E. A. Kirkpatrick, The Fundamentals of Child Study, 

J. MacCunn, The Making of Character, 1900. 
C. A. McMurry and F. M. McMurry, The Method of the 
Recitation (revised edition), 1903. 

^The dates give the edition to which the reference applies. Any 
edition will serve, however, except in the case of the McMurrys' 
Method of the Recitation, where the edition should be 1903 or later. 

Preface vii 

H. Spencer, Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical 

(the references fit any edition). 

The second sort of references, given at the end of the 
book, are designed to aid students in such studies of 
special topics as they may profitably undertake. 

In the text there are ninety-seven quotations, mostly of 
passages requiring critical comment in the Exercises. 
Since the student should in such cases make his judg- 
ments uninfluenced by the source of the passage, the 
sources are not given in the text. For the sake of anyone 
who may need to know the source of any such quotation 
a number in brackets follows each and, in the Sources 
OF Quotations at the end of the book, the reference is 
given for each number. When It is proper that the source 
of a quotation should be known at the time that it is read, 
the reference is given in the text itself also. 

Teachers College, Columbia University, 
December, 1905. 




§ I. The Teacher's Problem „ . . . i 

§ 2. Psychology and the Art of Teaching 7 

§ 3. Exercises 10 

Physical Education 

§ 4. The Care of the Body , 12 

§ 5. Remedying Defects 14 

§ 6. The Prevention of Defects 16 

§ 7. Exercises 17 

Instincts and Capacities 

§ 8. Natural Tendencies in General ,.,,.. 21 

§ 9. Instincts ..... .0. . 24 

§ 10. Capacities 29 

§ 1 1. Exercises 34 

§ 12. Self-Activity 39 



§13. The General Law 42 

§ 14. Detailed Applications: Exercises.................... 43 


§ 15. The Meaning of Interests. ..... 51 

§16. Interests as Ends 52 

§ 17. Interests as Means „..., 54 

§ 18. Exercises ,...,, o .. o .... o 59 

s 19 

§ 20 
§ 21, 

§ 22, 
§ 23 
§ 24, 
§ 25, 

§ 28 
§ 29 
§ 30. 
§ 32 

§ 33 


Individual Differences 

Variability in General 68 

Differences in General Mental Constitution 85 

Differences in Thought 87 

Differences in Action 92 

Differences in Temperament 94 

Sex Differences 96 

Exercises 98 


§ 26. Instinct and Habit and Attention 105 

§ 27. Exercises 107 

Principles of Association 

Habit Formation no 

Exercises 112 

Memory 123 

Exercises 124 

Correlation 127 

Exercises 129 

Principles of Analysis 

§ 34. Principles of Teaching 133 

§ 35. Their Application: Exercises 135 



% Z^- Reasoning as Selective Thinking 147 

§37. Inductive Methods of Teaching 154 

§ 38. Deductive Methods of Teaching 160 

§ 39. Exercises 164 



§ 40 
§ 41 
§ 42 
§ 44 

Responses of Conduct : Moral Training 

Education and Conduct 179 

School Habits as Moral Training 185 

Specific Moral Instruction 187 

The Moral Effects of School Studies 189 

Exercises 194 

Responses of Feeling 

§ 45. The Real Emotions 198 

§ 46. The Aesthetic Emotions 200 

§ 47. Exercises 202 

Motor Expression 
§ 48. The Relation of Motor Responses to Thought and 

Feeling 206 

§ 49. Verbal Expression 208 

§ 50. The Activities of the Arts and Industries 210 

§ 51. Dangers to be Avoided 212 

§ 52, Exercises 215 

§ 54- 

§ 55- 


Motor Education 

Teaching Form 219 

Teaching Execution 222 

Exercises 228 

Formal Discipline 

§ 56. The Superstition of General Training 235 

§ 57. The Specialization of Abilities 238 

§ 58. The Amount of Influence of Special Training 240 

§ 59. The Method of Influence of Special Training 243 

§ 60 Exercises 249 

xii Contents 

The Scientific Study of Teaching 

§ 6i. Testing the Results of Teaching 257 

§ 62. Testing the General Results of School Work 264 

§ 63. A Typical ScientiHc Study of School Work 268 

Topics for Further Study, with References. .. . 274 

Sources of Quotations 281 

Index of Exercises Relating to Special School 

Subjects 286 

Index of Experiments 287 

Index of Subjects 288 

The Principles of Teaching 


§ I. The Teacher's Problem 

The Aims, Materials and Methods of Education. — 

The word Education is used with many meanings, but in 
all its usages it refers to changes. No one is educated 
who stays just as he was. We do not educate anybody if 
we do nothing that makes any difference or change in any- 
body. The need of education arises from the fact that 
what is is not what ought to be. Because we wish our- 
selves and others to become different from what we and 
they now are, we try to educate ourselves and them. In 
studying education, then, one studies always the existence, 
nature, causation or value of changes of some sort. 

The teacher confronts two questions : 'What changes 
to make?' and 'How to make them?' The first question 
is commonly answered for the teacher by the higher 
school authorities for whom he or she works. The 
opinions of the educational leaders in the community 
decide what the schools shall try to do for their pupils. 
The program of studies is planned and the work which 
is to be done grade by grade is carefuly outlined. The 
grammar-school teacher may think that changes in 
knowledge represented by the ability to read a modern 
language ought to be made in boys and girls before the 
high-school, but the decision is rarely his; the primary 

I I 

2 The Principles of Teaching 

teacher may be obliged to teach arithmetic although her 
own judgment would postpone giving the knowledge of 
numbe rs until the fifth or sixth grade. 
/ What changes should be made in human nature by 
primary, grammar and high schools and why these and 
not other changes should be the aim of the schools, are 
questions usually answered under the heading 'Prin- 
ciples of Education.' How most efficiently to make such 
changes as educational aims recommend, is a question 
usually answered under the headings 'Principles of Teach- 
ing,' or 'Methods of Teaching,' or 'Theory and Practice 
of Teaching,' or 'Educational Psychology.' This book 
will try to answer this latter question, — to give a scientific 
basis for the art of actual teaching rather than for the 
selection of aims for the schools as a whole or of the sub- 
jects to be taught or of the general result to be gained 
from any subject. Not the What or the Why but the 
How is its topic. 

It is not wise however to study the How of teaching 
without any reference to the What or the Why. If a 
teacher does not appreciate, at least crudely, the general 
aims of education, he will not fully appreciate the gen- 
eral aims of school education; if he does not appreciate 
the general aims of school education, he will not fully 
appreciate the aims of his special grade or of any one 
special subject; if he does not have fairly clear ideas of 
what the year's work as a whole or of what each subject 
as a whole ought to accomplish for the scholars, he will 
not know exactly what he is about in any particular day's 
work. The teacher must be something more than the 
carpenter who follows without reflection the architect's 
plan, or the nurse who merely administers the physician's 
prescriptions. His relation to the administration of the 
school system and the program of studies is more like that 

Introduction 3 

of the builder who is told to make the best house he can 
at a cost of ten thousand dollars, using- three laborers, a 
derrick and such and such tools and providing especially 
for light, ventilation and protection against fire. Supe- 
rior authorities say, 'Make the best boys and girls you can, 
using arithmetic, geography, school regulations and so 
on, providing especially for knowledge, good habits of 
thought, worthy interests, bodily health, noble feelings 
and honest, unselfish conduct/ The builder must often 
study how to dig a foundation, how to erect a frame, how 
to lay a floor and the like with reference to what is to be 
built ; the teacher should often study how to utilize inborn 
tendencies, how to fonn habits, how to develop interests 
and the like with reference to what changes in intellect 
and character are to be made. The teacher should know 
about educational aims and values as well as about such 
prindples of teaching as directly concern his own activi- 
ties in the class-room. 

The next three pages will accordingly outline the 
essential facts concerning the ideals which, in the opinion 
of the best qualified thinkers, should be followed in 
American education, and throughout the book due atten- 
tion will be given to such facts about the ends the teacher 
should seek as he needs to know to improve his teaching. 

The Aims of Education. — 'Education as a whole 
should make human beings wish each other well, should 
increase the sum of human energy and happiness and 
decrease the sum of discomfort of the human beings that 
are or will be, and should foster the higher, impersonal 
pleasures. These aims of education in general — good- 
will to men, useful and happy lives, and noble enjoyment 
— are the ultimate aims of school education in particular. 
Its proximate aims are to give boys and girls health 
in body and mind, information about the world of nature 

4 The Principles of Teaching 

and men, worthy interests in knowledge and action, a 
multitude of habits of thought, feeling and behavior and 
ideals of efficiency, honor, duty, love and service. The 
special proximate aims of the first six years of school life 
are commonly taken to be to give physical training and 
protection against disease; knowledge of the simple facts 
of nature and human life ; the ability to gain knowledge 
and pleasure through reading and to express ideas and 
feelings through spoken and written language, music 
and other arts ; interests in the concrete life of the world ; 
habits of intelligent curiosity, purposive thinking, mod- 
esty, obedience, honesty, helpfulness, affection, courage 
andjustice ; and the ideals proper to childhood. 
r The special proximate aims of school life from twelve 
to eighteen are commonly taken to be physical health and 
skill; knowledge of the simpler general laws of nature 
and human life and of the opinions of the wisest and best ; 
more effective use of the expressive arts ; interests in the 
arts and sciences, and in human life both as directly 
experienced and as portrayed in literature; powers of 
self-control, accuracy, steadiness and logical thought, 
technical and executive abilities, cooperation and leader- 
ship ; habits of self-restraint, honor, courage, justice, 
] sympathy and reverence ; and the ideals proper to youth. 
With respect to the amount of emphasis upon differ- 
ent features of these general ideals, the best judgment of 
the present rates practical ability somewhat higher and 
culture of the semi-selfish sort somewhat lower than has 
been the case in the past. No sensible thinker about edu- 
cation now regards the ability to support oneself as a 
mean thing. Every one must gain power at school as 
well as at home to pull his own weight in the boat, to 
repay in useful labor what the world gives him in food 
and shelter. The cultured idler is as one-sided as the 

Introduction 5 

ignorant and clownish worker and may be even more of 
a danger to the world. The schools must prepare for 
efficiency in the serious business of life as well as for the 
refined enjoyment of its leisure. 

The best judgment of the present gives much more 
weight than has been the case previously to health, to 
bodily skill and to the technical and industrial arts. The 
ideal of the scholar has given way to the ideal of the 
capable man — capable in scholarship still, but also capable 
in physique and in the power to manipulate things. 

Very recently thinkers about education have dwelt 
more and more upon the importance of aiming not only to 
prepare children for adult life and vv^ork but also to adapt 
them to the life of childhood itself. Aim more to make 
children succeed with the problems and duties of child- 
hood and less to fit them for the problems and duties of 
twenty years after; let education adapt the child to his 
own environment as well as to some supposed work of 
his later years — such are the recommendations of present- 
day theories of education. 

In actual practice aims often conflict. A gain in 
knowledge may mean a loss in health; to arouse ideals 
may mean less time for drill in correct habits ; in zeal for 
the development of love of the beautiful the interest in 
the dry, cold facts of science may have to be neglected. 
The energy of any teacher, and of scholars as well, is 
limited. All that can be expected is that none of the aims 
of school education shall be wilfully violated and that 
energy should be distributed among them all in some 
reasonable way. 

The degrees of emphasis on the different proximate 
aims vary (i) with the nature of the individual to be edu- 
cated and (2) with the nature of the educational forces 
besides the school which are at work. Thus (i) the 

6 The Principles of Teaching 

emphasis in a school for the feeble-minded is not the same 
as in an ordinary school; the emphasis in a high school 
representing a selection of the more ambitious, intel- 
lectual and energetic is not the same as in a school where 
the selection is simply on the basis of the ability of the 
parents to pay tuition. (2) The emphasis in a primary 
school attended by the children of recent immigrants will 
differ from that in a school in a suburb inhabited by 
American professional and business families. A high 
school in a farming community in the Southwest should 
not pattern its ideals after those proper to a school in 
New York City. 

The Special Problem of the Teacher. — It is the 
problem of the higher authorities of the schools to decide 
what the schools shall try to achieve and to arrange plans 
for school work which will attain the desired ends. Hav- 
ing decided what changes are to be made they entiust to 
the teachers the work of making them. The special 
problem of the teacher is to make these changes as eco- 
nomically and as surely as is possible under the conditions 
of school life. His is the task of giving certain informa- 
tion, forming certain habits, increasing certain powers, 
arousing certain interests and inspiring certain ideals. 

The study of the best methods of doing so may be 
carried to almost any degree of detail. The principles of 
teaching may mean the general principles applicable to 
the formation of all habits or the highly specialized rules 
of procedure for forming the habit of correct use of shall 
and will; they include the laws valid for the acquisition 
of any knowledge and the discussion of the particular 
difficulties in teaching the spelling of to, tivo and too. 
But the problem Is always fundamentally the same: — 
Given these children to be changed and this change to be 
made, how shall I proceed? Given this material for 

Introduction 7 

education and this aim of education, what means and 
methods shall I use? 

§ 2. Psychology and the Art of Teaching 

The Scientific Basis of Teaching. — The work of 
teaching is to produce and to prevent changes in human 
beings; to preserve and increase the desirable qualities 
of body, intellect and character and to get rid of the 
undesirable. To thus control human nature, the teacher 
needs to know it. To change what is into what ought 
to be, we need to know the laws by which the changes 
occur. Just as to make a plant grow well the gardener 
must act in accordance with the laws of botany which con- 
cern the growth of plants, or as to make a bridge well the 
architect must act in accordance with the facts of 
mechanics concerning stresses and strains, or as to change 
disease into health the physician must act in accordance 
with the laws of physiology and pathology, so to make ' 
human beings intelligent and useful and noble the teacher 
must act in accordance with the laws of the sciences of 
human nature. 

The sciences of biology, especially human physiology 
and hygiene, give the laws of changes in bodily nature. 
The science of psychology gives the laws of changes in 
intellect and character. The teacher studies and learns 
to apply psychology to teaching for the same reason that 
the progressive farmer studies and learns to apply botany ; 
the architect, mechanics; or the physician, physiology 
and pathology. 
J Stimulus and Response. — Using psychological terms, 
the art of teaching may be defined as the art of 
giving and withholding stimuli with the result of pro- 
ducing or preventing certain responses. In this definition 
the term stimulus is used widely for any event which 

8 The Principles of Teaching 

influences a person, — for a word spoken to him, a look, a 
sentence which he reads, the air he breathes, etc., etc. 
The term response is used for any reaction made by him, 
— a new thought, a feehng of interest, a bodily act, any 
mental or bodily condition resulting from the stimulus. 
The aim of the teacher is to produce desirable and pre- 
vent undesirable changes in human beings by producing 
and preventing certain responses. The means at the 
disposal of the teacher are the stimuli which can be 
brought to bear upon the pupil, — the teacher's words, 
gestures and appearance, the condition and appliances of 
the school room, the books to be used and objects to be 
seen, and so on through a long list of the things and 
events which the teacher can control. The responses of 
the pupil are all the infinite variety of thoughts and feel- 
ings and bodily movements occurring in all their possible 
I connections. 

The stimuli given by the teacher to arouse and guide 
the pupil's responses may be classified as : — 

A. Stimuli under direct control. 

_\ The teacher's movements,^ — speech, gestures, 

facial expression, etc. 

B. Stimuli under indirect control. 

The physical conditions of the school, — air, 
light, heat, etc. 

The material equipment of the school,— 
books, apparatus, specimens, etc. 

The social conditions of the school, — the acts 
(including spoken words) of the pupils and the 
spirit which these acts represent. 

The general environment, — acts of parents, 
laws, libraries, etc. 

* The knowledge, love and tact of the teacher are, of course, of 
the highest importance as forces in teaching but their actual opera- 
tion is in their expression in words, gestures or acts of some sprt. 

Introduction 9 

The responses may be classified as : — 

A. Physiological responses, such as deeper breathing, 
sounder sleep, vigorous exercise and the like. 

B. Responses of knowledge,^ such as connecting a 
sense stimulus with an appropriate percept, abstracting 
one element from a complex fact or making associations 
of ideas. 

C. Responses of attitude, such as the connection of 
attention, interest, preference and belief with certain 

D. Responses of feeling, such as connecting sympa- 
thy, love, hate, etc., with certain situations. 

E. Responses of action or of conduct and skill, con- 
necting certain acts or movements with certain mental 

The Value of Psychology. — If there existed a perfect 
and complete knowledge of human nature, — a complete 
science of psychology, — it would tell the effect of every 
possible stimulus and the cause of every possible response 
in every possible human being. A teacher could then know 
just what the result of any acr of his would be, could 
prophesy just what the effect of such and such a page 
read or punishment given or dress worn would be, — just 
how to get any particular response, of attention to this 
object, memory of this fact or comprehension of that 

i Of course present Icnowledge of psychology is nearer 
|to zero than to complete perfection, and its applications 
to teaching must therefore be often incomplete, indefinite 
and insecure. The application of psychology to teaching 
IS more like that of botany and chemistry to farming 
than like that of physiology and pathology to medicine. 

* Knowledge is used here in a broad sense to include sensing ob- 
jects, analyzing facts, feeling relationships and drawing inferences, 
as well as memory of facts or associations of ideas. 

lo The Principles of Teaching 

Anyone of good sense can farm fairly well without 
science, and anyone of good sense can teach fairly well 
without knowing and applying psychology. Still, as the 
farmer with the kno\v''r^''?re of the applications of botany 
and chemistry o farinmg /-, other things being equal, 
more successful than the farmer without it, so the teacher 
will, other things being equal, be the more successful who 
can apply psychology, the science of human nature, to the 
problems of the school. 

§ 3. Exercises 

1. In teaching which of the following subjects would 
you depend most upon responses of knowledge? Upon 
responses of feeling? Upon responses of action? — Lit- 
erature, Manual Training, Latin. 

2. Rank the following subjects in order according 
to the importance in them of responses of analysis : Music, 
History, Grammar. 

3. Rank them according to the importance of re- 
sponses of feeling. 

4. Name two school studies which specially seek 
responses of observation. 

5. Name two which specially seek responses of bodily 

6. Name two which specially seek responses of in- 

7. What sort of response is implied in each of the 
following ? 

— a. Learning the meanings of the numbers from 

one to seven. ^^-^^-^"^ 

b. Learning to dance. 

c. " to love one's enemies. 

d. " the definition of a verb. 

Introduction 1 1 

e. Learning the sounds of the letters. 

f. '' to obey a teacher. 

g. " the principal parts of a verb. 
h. " to study in a noisy room. 

i. '' to be good-natured, though pro- 


8. To teach some of the school subjects, one must 
call forth responses of all four kinds, of knowledge, atti- 
tude, feeling and action. Show that this statement is true 
of geography. 

9. Name some stimuli besides words and books 
which are essential in teaching geography. 

10. In teaching morality. 

11. In promoting the enjoyment of school life. 

12. In training for good citizenship. 

For Further Reading 

C. W. Eliot, Educational Reform, Chapters III, V-XIV in- 
clusive, and XVIII. 

H. Spencer, Education, Chapter I. 

J. Adams, Herbartian Psychology Applied to Education, 
Chapters I and II. 


Physical Education 

§ 4. The Care of the Body 

As an End in Itself. — Bodily health and vigor are 
important in education both as ends and as means. They 
are ends because happiness and usefulness depend upon 
a sound body as well as upon a sound mind and morals. 
The school must accept a share with the home and with 
private and public agencies of the burden of maintaining 
the natural vigor of children, preventing diseases and 
remedying defects. It is its duty to keep children's eyes 
in good condition as well as to teach them to read. To 
prevent scarlet fever or to eradicate consumption is the 
duty of the school as well as of the hospital. The teacher 
must teach for health as well as for knowledge or con- 
duct, and the well-equipped teacher will know and apply 
physiology and hygiene. 

The special principles of physical education lie outside 
the scope of this book. But some very general rules of 
guidance may be stated. 

Health is better than strength or grace. The action 
of the heart and other parts of the circulatory system, of 
the lungs, of the digestive organs and of the excretory 
organs is far more important than the action of the volun- 
tary muscles of arms, legs and chest. The indirect results 
of exercise upon the system in general outweigh tenfold 
the direct effect on the size and strength of the muscles. 


Physical Education 13 

Pure air, nourishing food and sound sleep are the 
essentials for healthy growth. Exercise is probably 
essential also, but no system of gymnastics can make up 
for a lack in the other three. As a rule free movements, 
such as swimming, are superior to forced movements 
involving sudden inhibitions and opposing contractions 
such as the common dumb-bell drills. Exercise outdoors 
is better than exercise in any ordinary gymnasium and 
far better than exercise in a school class-room. Exercise 
taken in play with enjoyment is better than exercise taken 
as a task. 

As a Means to Intellectual and Moral Welfare. — 
Under present conditions the class-room teacher, though 
concerned with bodily health as an aim of the school, is 
perhaps more concerned with bodily conditions as means 
to the production of desirable changes in intellect and 
character. For the mind is the servant of the body as 
well as its master, and the mind's responses are often best 
influenced through bodily conditions. For example, the 
quality of the work of a primary-school class may be 
raised several degrees by the proper seating of children 
who are partially deaf and by the provision of proper 
glasses for children with defects of vision. The general 
efficiency of the vital organs is the desirable if not the 
necessary basis for good spirits, good conduct and good 
thinking. For the sake of proper intellectual and moral 
progress, then, as well as for the sake of the health and 
happiness of the scholars, teachers should cooperate with 
families and public agencies in remedying and preventing 
defects and in improving general bodily conditions. 

The relation between bodily conditions and mental 
welfare is not everywhere equally close. The loss of 
one's toes makes little difference, whereas the loss of one's 
eyes is an enormous handicap. Pneumonia rarely, but 

14 The Principles of Teaching 

scarlet fever often, leaves mental weakness in its train. 
Strength of an arm means little to either intellect or dis- 
position, but skill of hand and eye is a great aid in school 
work. A good digestion is the mother of cheerfulness 
and peace. As a rule what influences the central nervous 
system, the organs of sense and the nervous and muscular 
apparatus for moving the eyes, mouth-parts and hands, 
will have a direct effect upon intellectual activities. 

§ 5. Remedying Defects 

Defects of Sight and Hearing.— Unless the stimuli 
given by the teacher are properly felt, proper responses 
cannot be made. No matter how cleverly the teacher 
talks, it will be vain unless the pupil hears. Knowledge 
that a child has only one-tenth of normal acuity of vision 
may be of greater help in teaching him than many elab- 
orate books and pictures. 

There will rarely be a class of thirty scholars without 
two or more children who have defects of vision or hear- 
ing so great as to seriously impair their power of receiv- 
ing stimuli. If the pupils so affected were themselves 
conscious of their defects, not so much harm would be 
done ; but in point of fact college students are found who 
are totally deaf in one ear or blind in one eye or markedly 
color blind without being in the least aware of it, and in 
the first years of school life a large proportion of the 
children defective in hearing or vision are entirely 
unaware of their difficulty. The deaf ones have for so 
long had to strain every nerve and watch people's gestures 
and half guess at the meaning of the dimly and partially 
heard words that they have no reason to think of their 
condition as anything peculiar. Those defective in vision 
have for so long been obliged to labor to decipher and 

Physical Education 15 

interpret the misty, fleeting objects of vision, — reading 
has so commonly meant a headache to them, — that they 
take their troubles as a matter of course. Young chil- 
dren cannot be expected to themselves discover and report 
their defects; their parents will often do as little. The 
school must not only give proper stimuli but also note the 
condition of the organs for receiving stimuli, remedying 
the defects which exist when possible, and so arranging 
the class instruction that irremediable defects will do the 
least possible harm. 

Other Defects.— Gross defects of the motor appa- 
ratus such as paralyses and contractures, are fairly 
obvious ; common sense as well as psychology will 
recommend that allowance be made for pupils suffering 
from them in the work of writing, drawing and the like. 

Obstruction of the throat and nasal passages by 
enlarged tonsils and adenoid growths is a not uncommon 
cause of deafness and dullness. Teachers should observe 
carefully any children who habitually breathe through 
the mouth and should cooperate with parents to secure 
medical advice for them. In many cases the safe and 
easy operation of removing such growths brings a marked 
improvement in the comfort and school progress of the 

Within the last decade the schools have more and 
more extended the work of cooperating with the family 
and public authorities with respect to the care of other 
bodily defects. Some school systems provide for an 
examination of the children's teeth and for securing 
necessary dental work; some send trained nurses to the 
houses to instruct parents in the treatment of minor 
diseases. It has been proposed to establish special schools 
for cripples. 

Teachers may feel sure that their cooperation with 

i6 The Principles of Teaching 

any wise plan for the amelioration of physical defects will 
result not only in improving the physical health of the 
community but also in making more efficient the intel- 
lectual and moral training of the school. It may not seem 
to be, and may not be, the teacher's business to cure a 
toothache, but there may be no more effective way to 
insure a pupil's progress than to get rid of the physical 
pain, the digestive disorders, the eye troubles and the 
susceptibility to diseases of the throat which may result 
from decayed teeth. 

§ 6. The Prevention of Defects 

All the arguments for the cure of defects apply with 
even greater force to their prevention. Schools should 
be positive forces for health and teachers should study 
and practice the requirements of school hygiene, not only 
because health should be an aim of the school but also 
because health is a means to mental and moral welfare. 

Unfortunately there is in some respects a conflict 
between the demands of health and the demands of intel- 
lectual and moral training. There would probably be 
fewer eye troubles if we never read books or worked at 
occupations demanding skill ; children would probably be 
less sickly if till the age of sixteen they spent the twenty- 
five hours a week of school time in running, swimming, 
play with animals, and work out of doors in garden, field 
and woods. To some extent we barter our health for the 
other valuables, — knowledge, skill, and habits of utility 
to the community. At present we probably thus sell too 
much of health, but it would be equally unwise to sacrifice 
everything for health. It Is better to be a Socrates with 
a headache than a perfectly healthy pig. There must be 
a compromise. 

Physical Education ly 

At all events, it is idiotic to neglect health when its 
neglect means mental and moral loss also ; it is wicked to 
sacrifice it for nothing; and it is unwise not to rank its 
claims as approximately equal to those of the intellect. 

General Bodily Conditions. — The teacher can only 
to a slight extent control the air, light, food, sleep and 
exercise of a class. The large size of classes, the char- 
acter of school buildings and grounds, the five-sixths of 
the pupil's time that are spent away from the school and 
many other factors limit the teacher's influence. But 
when half of the six-year-olds in a primary class come to 
school after a breakfast of two or three bakehouse cakes 
and a cup of coffee or with none, it is a question whether 
the teacher had not better give up a week to teaching the 
parents rather than the children. In some city kinder- 
gartens it would be better for half the children to be put 
to bed than set to play. 


Good teaching treats health as of importance com- 
parable with intellectual progress. Good teaching takes 
account of the bodily conditions of pupils and cooperates 
with parents and public authorities for their improvement. 

The teacher should first, know these bodily conditions 
in the case of each pupil ; second, do what is appropriate 
to remedy them ; and third, allow for them in arrange- 
ments for teaching and in estimates of pupils. 

§ 7. Exercises 

I. What is your opinion of each of the following 
facts ? 

(a) In a city school seventy per cent, of the pupils 
spent over five hours a day (except on Saturdays and 

1 8 The Principles of Teaching 

Sundays) in home work in preparation of school lessons, 
and less than an hour and a half a day outdoors. 

(b) A nine-year-old boy was inattentive and very 
restless in school; his teacher rebuked him and he com- 
plained of having a headache; his teacher paid no atten- 
tion to his complaint and on further misbehavior on his 
part sent him to the principal for punishment; the prin- 
cipal took his temperature, found it to be over 102 and 
sent him home, with a note for his parents. 

2. What would you have written in a note to the 
parents ? 

3. Make out a set of rules such as you think a teacher 
ought to follow with respect to the health regulations of 
the city in which he or she lives, to acquaintance with 
free clinics and the means of admission to them, to med- 
ical inspectors of schools, to knowledge of the ventilating 
system of the school building and to the examination of 
vision and hearing. 

4. What do boys and girls commonly buy for 
luncheon when because of the length of the session or for 
other reasons they do eat a luncheon at school ? 

5. Make out (a) a list of five or more articles of 
food which you would require to be on sale in a school 
lunch room ; (b) a list of five or more articles of food 
which you would not allow to be sold. 

6. Illustrate the fact that a little knowledge may be 
a dangerous thing by causing a teacher to attempt the 
work properly belonging to a physician. 

7. Illustrate the fact that true care for the health of 
children does not mean constant inquiry about their 
symptoms or advice to them about their habits. 

8. What measures besides reseating can you devise 
to assist a deaf pupil ? 

Physical Education 19 

9. What measures can you devise to assist a near- 
sighted pupil besides fitting him with proper glasses? 

10. Very little children when reading often hold 
their books only partly open, say at an angle of 100 
instead of 180 degrees. Should primers and other begin- 
ning books be stiffly bound ? Should they have the wider 
margin on the inner or the outer edge of the page ? 

11. Name three studies in which color blindness 
would injure a pupil's work. 

12. Why would it be important to know of physical 
defects even though nothing could be done to cure them 
or to make the pupil work more easily in spite of them ? 

13. Name two or more features of high-school work 
which involve an extra tax on the eyes with little com- 
pensating value {e, g., the use of German print). 

Experiment i. Record the time taken by six or eight 
children, to read passage A. To read passage B. Record 
their answers to the question, 'Which is the easier to 
read ?' What conclusions do you draw concerning black- 
board writing and the printing of school-books? 

I mused for some time upon what he had said, and found 
it was a very rational conclusion, and that therefore some- 
thing was to be resolved on very speedily, as well to draw 
the men on board into some snare for their surprise, as to 
prevent their landing upon us, and destroying us ; upon 
this it presently occurred to me, that in a little while, the 
ship's crew, wondering what was become of their com- 
rades, and of the boat, would certainly come on shore in 
their other boat to seek for them ; and that then perhaps 
they might come armed, and be too strong for us : this he 
allowed was rational. Upon this I told him, the first 
thing Aye were to do, was to stave the boat, which lay upon 
the beach, so that they might not carry her off : and tak- 
ing everything out of her, leave her so far useless as not 

20 The Principles of Teaching 


It was happy for the poor man that it was my man 
Friday; for he, having been used to that kind of 
creature in his country, had no fear upon him, but 
went close up to him, and shot him as above; whereas 
any of us would have fired at a further distance, 
and have perhaps either missed the wolf, or endang^ered 
shooting: the man. But it was enoug^h to have terrified 
a bolder man than I, and indeed it alarmed all our 
company, when, with the noise of Friday's pistol, 
we heard on both sides the dismallest howling^s of 
wolves, and the noise redoubled by the echo of the 
mountains, that it was to us as if there had been a 
prodig:ious multitude of them ; and perhaps indeed 

there was not such a few, as that we had no cause of 
apprehensions. However, as Friday had killed this 
wolf, the other, that had fastened upon the horse, 
left him immediately, and fled having: happily fastened 
upon his head. 

For Further Reading 

E. W. Hope and E. A. Browne, A Manual of School Hygiene, 
Chapters III-XIV inclusive. 

E. A. Kirkpatrick, Fundamentals of Child Study, Chapter 


Instincts and Capacities 
Preparatory, Elements of Psychology, §§ 30-34^ 

§ 8. Natural Tendencies in General 

What human beings become depends upon the tend- 
encies which are born in them as well as the training 
which is given to them. Nature as well as nurture forms 
human intellect and character. To be effective, nurture or 
education must allow for the forces of nature. To teach 
boys and girls without paying heed to the equipment of 
instincts and capacities which they already possess apart 
from teaching would be as foolish as to sail a boat 
regardless of the direction of the wind or to build a house 
regardless of the material at hand. 

Education should at times stimulate and favor inborn 
tendencies, at"- tim(fes inhibit them, and, most frequently 
of all, direct and guide 'them. The capacity for active 
thought and reasoning,, for instance, needs encourage- 
ment ; the teasing and bullying instinct must be inhibited ; 
the inborn tendencies to^ curiosity and sympathy must be 
directed into useful channels and transformed into habits 
of intelligent thinking or sensible and noble action. Mere 
greed of knowledge is of value only in its possibilities ; to 
pity everything and everybody may be as truly a vice as 
to pity no one. 

* The author's Elements of Psychology is the book referred to 
here and in later preparatory references, 


22 The Principles of Teaching 

Utilizing Natural Tendencies. — Education may also 
be made more and more economical in proportion as it 
utilizes the forces of natural tendencies to attain its ideal 
ends. Whenever we work with rather than against 
nature the task becomes easy and the burden light. 
Fractions become easy with the help of apples and blocks 
and knives and jig-saw because the instinctive tendencies 
to attend to concrete objects and to enjoy physical action 
and manipulation are called into service. 

Teaching may be wasteful or even harmful by neglect 
of the fact of delayed instincts and capacities. Theology 
for the ten-year-old in Sunday schools and Jane Austen's 
novels for high-school boys are much the same as cabbage 
for babies. Cabbage is a good food only when the 
capacity to digest it exists. Teaching little girls to be 
attentive to their dress and appearance is much the same 
as trying to teach an infant of six months to walk. The 
interests in clothes and looks will come of itself with 
adolescence just as the walking instinct will come of 
itself at the beginning of the second year. 

Just as the delayed appearance of inborn tendencies 
makes too early teaching wasteful, so their transitoriness 
makes too tardy teaching fruitless. The manual dex- 
terity of the pianist, for instance, must be acquired early 
in life if at all. The instincts and capacities important in 
education are, however, for the most part long-lived, and, 
if not suppressed by actual ill-treatment, persist through 
the years of school life without special stimulation from 
teachers. So with the instincts of action, curiosity, the 
love of outdoor life and sport, emulation and many others. 

Destroying Natural Tendencies. — Harmful instincts 
and capacities are weakened or inhibited by disuse (by 
depriving them of exercise, by not allowing the situations 
which would evoke them to appear), substitution (by 

Instincts and Capacities 23 

forming the habit of meeting the situation in some other 
way) and by punishment. Thus the tendency of a child 
to chase and torment a kitten may be inhibited by giving 
the child no kitten to play with, or by teaching him early 
to stroke and feed the kitten, or by beating him in case 
he does pull its tail and throw stones at it. 

Disuse is convenient and is an excellent method to em- 
ploy when the harmful tendency is transitory, but it is 
never quite sure. Punishment is ineffective in the case 
of very strong instincts. To be of service in any case, it 
must be so administered as to connect the discomfort 
closely with the harmful act. Substitution is in most 
cases by far the best method for the teacher's use. Habits 
of care for pets are the best preventive of cruelty to ani- 
mals ; to divide a class into two groups and give marks to 
the groups instead of to individuals, — to substitute, that is, 
team emulation for individual emulation, — may be the 
best cure for selfish ambition and envy; for a restless 
class manual work is better than scolding. 

Some instincts apparently injurious may have bound 
up with them valuable traits of intellect and character, 
and consequently may require encouragement and espe- 
cially redirection. The annoying questioning of very 
young children is part and parcel of a general intellectual 
impulse that is a chief source of mental growth ; the dis- 
obedience and defiance of boys in their teens, often very 
troublesome to school and family life, is to some extent 
at least a necessary accompaniment of the general instinct 
of independence and mastery which comes at adolescence 
and which is essential to vigorous manhood ; awkward- 
ness and lack of courtesy may be necessary features of a 
modesty which would suffer if they were artificially 

Individual Differences. — Since Individuals differ in 

24 The Principles of Teaching 

the nature and amounts of their capacities and instincts, 
the particular equipment of each boy or girl, as well as 
the general fund possessed by human beings as a species, 
must be allowed for by the teacher. The general capacity 
for response to visual stimuli gives reason for the tre- 
mendous use of visual stimuli in teaching, but if a boy is 
blind, the right in general becomes wrong in particular. 
The general instinct of physical activity recommends con- 
structive work, motor expression and the actual manipula- 
tion of objects as means of training for almost all young 
children; but for the few who are relatively lacking in 
this instinct and possess in abundance the capacity for 
abstract thought and pure mental gymnastics, the more 
scientific and intellectual study of objects and ideas and 
symbols may be better. 

Many responses of attitude as well as of action are 
instinctive ; e. g., the interest of babies in living animals, 
the interests of adolescents in the opposite sex, the gen- 
eral tendency to attend to the novel and the general 
interest in achievement. These instincts of interest are 
hard to separate from instincts of action and could well 
be discussed in connection with them. From the point of 
view of their application to teaching, however, it is better 
to describe them in connection with interests in general in 
Chapter V. 

§ 9. Instincts 

The following instincts are of special importance in 

school education : — 

Mental Activity, — the tendency to be thinking in some 
way or another, to avoid mental apathy. 

Curiosity, — a special aspect of the instinct of general 
mental activity; the tendency to provoke ideas, 
especially in the presence of new situations. 

Instincts and Capacities ' 25 

Physical Activity, — the tendency to be doing something, 

to avoid bodily torpor. 
Manipulation, — a special aspect of the instinct of general 
physical activity ; the tendency to handle objects, to 
move them, take them apart, re-unite them, etc., etc. 

Pugnacity and Mastery. 
Independence and Defiance. 

Mental Activity. — The instinct of general mental 
activity is the fountain head of human intellectual devel- 
opment and has been in the past the chief support of 
school education. Unlike almost all other animals, man 
thinks' not only under the stress of some immediate prac- 
tical need, but at all times and for the mere enjoyment 
of thinking, — thinks not only about the few particular 
objects that feed, warm, protect or injure him, but about 
everything he experiences. The kitten's intellect restricts 
itself to certain smells, sounds and sights that concern 
food, hunting, play, sleep and the like, and commonly 
thinks of these only when it is immediately profitable for 
it to do so. The child watches and listens to all sorts 
of objects even when they have no meaning for his bodily 
needs. For to the human being intellectual Hfe is as 
truly a need as food or safety. 

Children do not have to be enticed or forced to think 
and learn. They seek ideas as eagerly as food. Only 
when it involves restraint, monotony and futility, is 
thinking objectionable. The teacher's problem is to pre- 
serve the force of the original instinct of mental activity 
by giving it exercise and by rewarding its exercise with 

2() The Principles of Teaching 

satisfaction, and to guide the aimless, random thinking 
of children into useful and rational forms. 

The greater part of the imitative play of children is a 
result of this instinct of general mental activity. Playing 
father, mother, grocer, automobile, church, school and 
the like is an easy means of arousing trains of thought 
without strain or fatigue. The amount that children 
teach each other in the course of such free play is a wit- 
ness to the value of the instinct and should be a lesson to 
every teacher. 

Physical Activity. — The instinct of general physical 
activity with its special form, the manipulation of objects,^ 
is the original source of sports, industries and arts, and is 
in childhood the prime ally of intellectual development. 
As children think for the sake of thinking, so also they 
move about and handle objects just for the love of action 
and of the new ideas which action brings. The dog does 
a few things to a small variety of objects and can become 
a hunter, eater and carrier; the child does all sorts of 
things to almost everything and can become a talker, 
writer, carpenter, violinist and hundreds of things besides. 

One aim of the school is to direct the force that makes 
children run, jump, tumble, dance, wriggle, poke each 
other, seize and throw, into play and work that shall be 
healthy for mind and body, and to direct the force that 
makes children play with utensils, toys and the like toward 
the arts and industries that have most educative value. 
Even where the action and manipulation are of no value 
in themselves they may be desirable as means to intellec- 
tual or moral ends. We work against nature when we try 
to keep young children still. To learn by doing something 
is to learn with the full help of instinct. And we all know 
that it is for idle hands that Satan finds mischief. 

^ So called constructiveness and destructiveness are simply two 
extreme varieties of the instinct of manipulation. 

Instincts and Capacities (x^l) 

Until recently the schools left to home and industrial 
life the development of the instinct of physical activity and 
sought to repress it in favor of purely mental activity ; but 
with the broadening of the scope of the schools the 
direction of motor as well as mental habits has been ac- 
cepted as an aim of systematic education, and with our 
present insight into the strength of the active tendencies 
in young children every wise teacher will adopt such 
methods as to make them allies rather than opponents. 

Collecting. — The collecting instinct is instructive as a 
sample of the neglect of useful natural forces by teachers. 
Probably not one out of ten teachers of geography enlists 
this instinct in her service, though it is one of the tap- 
roots of interest in natural science. I venture the opinion 
that the efficiency of the teaching of so-called commercial 
geography could be increased ten per cent simply by 
encouraging and systematizing the habits of collecting 
post-marks, stamps, pictures, samples of soils, agricul- 
tural and industrial products and the like. 

Pugnacity. — The fighting instinct offers a useful illus- 
tration of the general superiority of substitution over 
repression as a means of inhibiting instincts. If punish- 
ing boys for fighting would cure them of it, the instinct 
would be its own cure, for the fighting itself brings 
physical pain enough. As we all know, mere repression 
is here a most uneconomical preventive, whereas the sub- 
stitution of orderly boxing and wrestling, football, 
basket-ball and the like, often succeeds admirably. You 
cannot push the Niagara river back into Lake Erie and 
keep it there but you can, by creating new channels for 
it, make it drive the wheels of factories in the service of 
man. So often with the impulses of human nature. 

The Error of Neglect. — Teachers are liable to one 
of two errors in their attitude toward instinctive tend- 

28 The Principles of Teaching 

encies. The first is to neglect instincts both as ends and 
as means, to add artificial virtues to children instead of 
cultivating those with which nature has already endowed 
them and to move children to knowledge and virtue by 
motives that are logically plausible, in disregard of those 
which original nature provides in full measure. To this 
extreme attitude the quiet, obedient lesson learner is the 
ideal pupil. Physical energy, independence, sociability 
and pride are rather discountenanced. Talks about the 
value of education, the needs of later life and the school 
armament of rewards and punishments are relied on 
to furnish the energy for school tasks. The instincts of 
action, curiosity and collecting, of emulation and achieve- 
ment and mastery, and all the instinctive interests, are 
looked down upon as too childish motives or, more fre- 
quently, disregarded because of ignorance of their power. 

To remind oneself that two of the noblest qualities of 
human nature, courage and maternal afifection, are both 
pure instincts, should be a sufiicient warning against 
despising natural tendencies. As for the childishness of 
motives based on instincts, in teaching children childish 
motives are just what must be used. And that these 
instinctive tendencies furnish the strongest of motives is 
the plain lesson of school experience. 

The Error of Misuse. — The other error is to assume 
that nature is always right, — that what a child tends 
naturally to do, that is the thing he should be taught to 
do, — and to follow instinct regardless of where it leads. 
But the aims of education require us to lead nature 
oftener than to follow it; instincts are excellent servants 
but very dangerous masters. Natural tendencies are 
sometimes ends in themselves, often most useful means, 
and always forces that must be taken into account, but to 

Instincts and Capacities 29 

make them the sole guide of education will be a return 
to savagery. 

The right attitude has been described in the first pages 
of this chapter. It may be summarized in these two 
quotations : — 

"Respect then, I beg you, always, the original reac- 
tions, even when you are seeking to overcome their con- 
nection with certain objects and to supplant them with 
others that you wish to make the rule." (Vv. James, 
Talks to Teachers, p. 62) [i] 

"Hence the transparent infatuation of the cheap 
advice, 'Trust to your children's instincts.' By all means 
let us study their instincts, and watch them, and tend 
them. In them as we have asserted, lie our opportuni- 
ties. Let us not trust them. For this is to forget that 
the only kind of instinct that is really to be trusted is that 
educated instinct we call a virtue." (J. MacCunn, The 
Making of Character, p. 29) [2] 

§ 10. Capacities 

The fundamental capacities of human nature are those 
Impression, the capacities for sensitivity of the different 

sense organs. 
Expression, the capacities for arousing movement of the 

different motor organs. 
Connection, the capacity to form habits. 
Selection, the capacity to maintain and strengthen one 

mental process in preference to others. 
Analysis, the capacity to break up a fact into elements, to 

think of and react to parts and aspects. 

As manifested in actual human life, these fundamental 

capacities turn into many varieties of special capacities 

due (i) to the kind of stimulus sensed or the kind of 

mental fact connected or selected or analyzed (e. g., 

30 The Principles of Teaching 

verbal memory, mathematical reasoning, color vision) 
and (2) to the mixture of capacity with interest {e, g., 
honesty, executive ability, self-restraint). Moreover, our 
common words denoting capacities often refer to com- 
plexes of different capacities which together produce 
some important practical result {e. g., leadership, scholar- 
ship, business ability). 

The following are some of these concrete special 
capacities with which school education is particularly 
concerned : — ^ 

The management of things. 
The management of men. 
The management of concrete ideas. 
The management of abstract ideas and symbols. 

The Error of Over-Emphasis. — As usually taught, 
the studies of the school, — reading, writing, arithmetic, 
oral and written composition, grammar, appreciation of 
the content of literature and knowledge of the facts of 
its history, geography, elementary science, history, alge- 

^ The capacities concerned with sensation and movement are 
highly important in school life, but the principles of teaching which 
concern them have been sufficiently emphasized in Chapter II. The 
very special capacities involved in the special school subjects are not 
mentioned because the intelligent student of teaching will rarely 
neglect them and because they would make too long a list. 

Instincts and Capacities 31 

bra, geometry and trigonometry, foreign languages and 
the special sciences, — give opportunity for the exercice of 
only the capacity for the management of ideas. Manual 
training and experimental work in science add certain 
opportunities for the management of things, but the man- 
agement of men is given little or no scope in the tra- 
ditional school. The school program and the teacher's 
methods are in fact both likely to be unfair to the boy or 
girl gifted in the control of tools and materials and in 
power to get on with and make use of other people. 

Moreover one special part of the capacity to deal with 
ideas, namely, the capacity for thinking with abstractions 
and symbols, is given greater opportunity than other 
parts. The mathematics and grammar of the elementary 
school, and the mathematics and languages of the second- 
ary school are easy and interesting in proportion as one 
has the ability to think with general and abstract terms 
and with their symbols. But school is often an uncom- 
fortable, and perhaps an unprofitable, place for the 
concrete thinker, for the girl who can write poetry but 
can't parse, or the boy who can tell a good bargain but 
can't state the principle for solving problems in profit and 
loss. The school is the paradise for the abstract thinker, 
for the boy or girl who is able to think with fives and 
sixes, x's and y's, parallels and perpendiculars, H^ O's and 
NaCl's, latitude and longitude, conditions contrary to fact 
and clauses of purpose. The teacher is usually one who 
has himself been successful at this sort of thinking and so 
is more in sympathy with it. He may even thoughtlessly 
sneer at the mental ability of those who lack it. *Your 
son will make a first-rate mechanic or grocer, but he isn't 
fit for high school,' said such a one. The proper retort 
would have been, 'Your school, then, is first-rate for one 
kind of a boy, but it isn't fit for the majority/ 

32 The Principles of Teaching 

It is true that abstract thought is the capacity which 
most clearly distinguishes the human from the brute 
intellect and is the most productive of general progress 
m civilization, and that every science and art requires 
more and more abstract and symbolic thinking in propor- 
tion as it advances. It is also true that this capacity is 
likely to stay dormant without systematic education, 
whereas the ordinary exigencies of life may sufficiently 
develop the capacity to deal with concrete facts. Still 
the school is for all, not for the few who have this 
capacity in large measure; and the school system which 
aims to serve the greatest good of the greatest number 
will establish curricula fitted to the concrete thinker and 
constructor. The wise teacher will also find ways to 
utilize and develop these capacities, no matter what the 
curriculum may be. 

The Error of Neglect. — School life is likely to 
neglect also the capacities of originality, self-reliance, 
cooperation and leadership. Originality is rare and the 
teacher, in choosing methods well adapted to the majority, 
is likely to discourage it. Self-reliance is closely allied 
to contradiction and non-conformity to rules and direc- 
tions, and the inconvenience of the latter to the teacher 
may make him over- favorable to a weak docility. The 
constant study of set lessons in text-books of the usual 
type aggravates this defect. Cooperation and leadership 
are common for purposes of mischief in school and play 
outside, but the traditional ideals of the class — as a com- 
pany whose sole officer is the teacher, as a peasantry 
under a czar, or as a set of willing followers of a beloved 
leader — have led to the waste of opportunity for the cul- 
tivation of these important capacities. 

Individual Dififerences. — Individuals differ in the 
Strength of different capacities even more than in the 

Instincts and Capacities 33 

strength of different instincts. Man is a rational animal, 
but men vary from the stupidity of the idiot to the intel- 
lect of an Aristotle. The differences which are so 
obvious in the case of musical ability, verbal memory or 
leadership, exist in all capacities. Nature gives each a 
certain capital ; education must learn what it is and make 
the most out of it. Exactly the same results must not be 
expected from any two children in a class. Some chil- 
dren will succeed with a study no matter how poor the 
teaching, and some children, no matter how good the 
teaching, will fail. The presence of capacities gives the 
possibilities of instruction and their amount sets limits 
to what instruction can achieve. 

These individual differences are further complicated 
by the specialization of capacities. The boy who differs 
from his fellows by a surplus of the capacity to reason 
about numbers may show a deficit in the capacity to 
reason about grammatical forms. The specially good 
observer of birds may be an inferior observer of the spell- 
ing of words. Nature's endowment to an individual is 
in the form of scores of special gifts, some of which may 
exist in large measure, others in small. The teacher does 
not teach bright, mediocre and dull pupils, but a group of 
individuals each of whom possesses varying degrees of 
ability in different subjects and in different aspects of the 
same subject. There is, it is true, a general and fairly 
high correlation between many capacities, so that excel- 
lence in any one is somewhat prophetic of excellence in 
many others. But it is only somewhat; excellence in 
one is rarely prophetic of equal excellence in others. 
Only rarely is a pupil found who is at the top in every- 
thing; only rarely must a teacher endure a pupil who is 
proficient at nothing. 

It is then unscientific and unjust for a teacher to 


34 The Principles of Teaching 

neglect' a pupil because of lack of capacity in, say, the 
beginning reading and writing of the primary classes. 
In more than nine cases out of ten there is something 
worthy of learning which the pupil can learn well. To 
prescribe the same studies for all is at best a necessary 
evil. To make promotion depend upon any one study is 
to retard the progress of many pupils of high average 


What anyone becomes by education depends upon 
what he is by nature. Teaching is the utilization of 
natural tendencies for ideal ends. The first condition of 
a pupil's responses is the fund of instincts and capacities 
given by nature; the first step in teaching is to consider 
and allow for them. Good teaching discourages no 
worthy instinct or capacity; selects and strengthens the 
good by giving them exercise and rewarding them with 
satisfaction ; eliminates or weakens the bad by disuse, 
substitution, and, but less often, by repression; econo- 
mizes effort by not teaching prematurely what will come 
soon enough as a delayed tendency, and by not trying to 
eliminate what will pass away by itself. Good teaching 
so arranges the work of the school that a wide range of 
capacities may be utilized, and that instinctive activities 
and interests may make for intellectual and moral prog- 
ress. Good teaching expects and adapts itself to wide 
, individual differences in orio:inal nature. 

§ II. Exercises 

I. Which of the following tendencies does school- 
life usually develop overmuch? Which does it too often 
neglect ? 

Instincts and Capacities 35 

Aesthetic appreciation. Envy. 

Constructiveness. Imitation. 

Cooperativeness. Memory. 

Courage. Rivalry. 

Display. Self-reliance. 

2. Are the present arrangements of reading and 
writing in the curriculum most likely to err from relying 
on delayed instincts too soon or from appealing to transi- 
tory instincts too late? 

3. How would you explain the fact that of a group 
of people who were asked what they enjoyed most as 
children in school a large percentage replied, 'Distribut- 
ing pencils,' 'Going on errands,' and the like? 

4. What instincts would be likely to remain dormant 
in a girl who never had younger children to care for ? In 
a boy who was brought up in isol^.tion from other boys ? 

5. Give an illustration of either ingenious use or 
wise direction of each of the iollowing instincts and 
capacities : — 

The instinct of manipulation. 

" love of out-door life. . 
" affection. 
" ownership. 
The dramatic or personating tendency. 
The capacity for rote memorizing, 
concrete learning, 

productive imagination, 

6. Name two or more channels into which the energy 
of the hunting instinct may be profitably turned. 

7. Name five or six of the impulses which cause 
truancy. Which of these are due to instinctive tendencies ? 

36 The Principles of Teaching 

8. How might the migratory instinct, — the tendency 
to roam and explore, — be made a positive help to school 
work ? 

9. Name an instinct of special help in nature- 

10. Name an instinct of special help in manual 

11. What is the effect on instinctive curiosity of 
attracting a child's attention by such questions as 'What 
do you suppose I'm going to do now?' followed by doing 
nothing new or specially attractive? 

12. Which would you rather be, the child who asks 
such questions as 'Where were all the rocks before they 
were in the dirt?' and 'What does the rain do when it 
isn't raining?' or the teacher who makes fun of him for 
doing so? Why? 

13. Give illustrations of children's questions that 
show silliness and support Bain's statement that, ']Much 

of the curiosity of children is a spurious article. 

Frequently is a mere display of egotism, the delight 
in giving trouble, in being pandered to and served. 
Questions are put, not for the desire of rational informa- 
tion, but from the love of excitement.' [3] 

14. Give illustrations of children's questions that 
show the opposite. 

15. Illustrate the employment of the instinct of gen- 
eral physical activity (a) in the service of geography; 
(b) in the service of history. 

16. To get rid of envy, jealousy, cheating, etc., due 
to rivalry for marks, one teacher abolished the marking 
system altogether; another divided the class into two 
groups and kept only the scores of the two groups; a 
third teacher made a speech about the wickedness of envy 
and adopted rigid rules against cheating. Which do you 

Instincts and Capacities 37 

think had the best permanent effect on the tendency to 
personal rivalry? What names would you give to the 
three methods ? 

17. Name two capacities which the usual college 
preparatory course in the high school emphasizes. Two 
which it neglects. 

18. From the point of view of instincts and capacities 
what would be the advantage of partial self-support as a 
feature of the education of boys from sixteen to twenty- 

19. Supply appropriate words in the following: The 
most frequent faults of teaching with respect to intel- 
lectual capacities have been : — To appeal to in- 
stead of to comprehension ; to imitation instead of to . 

20. What capacities are especially involved in learn- 
ing geometry? In learning science? 

21. Compare physical with commercial geography 
with respect to the instincts and capacities to which they 

22. Compare similarly the history of changes in gov- 
ernment, the history of wars and the history of changes 
in social and industrial life. 

23. Compare similarly the computation work of 
arithmetic with the work with concrete problems. 

24. Name three games which give good opportuni- 
ties for training in cooperation. Three which give little 
or none. 

25. Which capacity develops earliest in life, musical 
capacity, literary ability or business ability? 

26. State two questions about instincts and capacities 
which a teacher might properly investigate in the case 
of her class. 

27. What are some questions about instincts and 
capacities not answered by this chapter the answers to 
which would interest vou ? 

38 The Principles of Teaching 

28. Explain or illustrate each of the following 
quotations : — 

'The destructive tendency is probably only a modified 
form of the constructive.' [4] 

'Education is the revealer of inequalities for which it 
is not responsible.' [5] 

'In man, even within the domain of one and the same 
instinct, there is a possibility of widely different develop- 
ments.' [6] 

'Education ought then to be both an excitant and a 
restraint.' [7] 

29. Which of the following statements are true? 
Which are false? Which are partly true and partly 
false ? Defend your opinion in each case. 

'The irrepressible life in children must be used as the 
chief motive-power in education.' [8] 

'Men at their birth are by nature radically good.' [9] 

A sinful nature has given each of our children more 
than seven times seven devils. 

'Nothing can be more unwise than to tell a child he 
must never fight.' [10] 

The child seeks 'decidedly and surely that which is in 
itself best ; and, moreover, in a form wholly adapted to 
his condition.' [11] 

Knowledge is to be considered as the food of the mind. 

Knowledge is to be considered as a gymnasium for 
the mind. 

'Most children enter school for the first time with 
minds athirst for knowledge.' [12] 

'It behooves us to study nature's plan, and seek rather 
to aid than to thwart it. For nature must be right ; there 
is no higher criterion.' [13] 

'These instincts, then, which every child has, although 

Instincts and Capacities 39 

in varying form, and vigor, must be turned into worthy 
grooves. Not suppression, but a generous control!' [14] 

§ 12. Self-Activity 

The last four sections should have made it evident 
that the result of educational endeavor depends as truly 
upon the nature of the individual taught as upon the 
nature of the tuition given him. The activity from with- 
out in the shape of the words and acts of teachers, the 
lessons in books and the like, cooperates with the activity 
from within in the shape of the instincts, capacities and 
individual qualities of the pupils. In the last analysis 
what the scholars do, not what the teacher does, edu- 
cates them ; not what we give, but what they get, counts ; 
only through their self-activity are they directly changed. 

Education should be considered not as a moulding of 
perfectly plastic substances, nor as a filling of empty 
minds, nor as a creation of powers ; but rather as the 
provision of opportunity for healthy bodily and mental 
life, of stimuli to call forth desirable activities in thought, 
feelinof and movement, and of means for their wise 
direction, for the elimination of their failures and futili- 
ties, and for the selection of their useful forms. 

This general point of view may be called the doctrine 
of self-activity. It may be stated briefly as follows: 
Nothing really counts except as it influences the pupil's 
own responses ; to encourage healthy life, to stimulate to 
mental activity and to select the best of such activities is 
the teacher's work. 

That the teacher must educate pupils by means of 
their own activities does not, however, mean that what a 
pupil does of his own accord is right. The teacher must 
constantly stimulate certain acts and prevent others; 

40 The Principles of Teaching 

must perpetuate some and eliminate others. Nor does 
self-activity include only such obviously active responses 
as the unaided discovery of facts, the invention of proc- 
esses, the undirected working out of arguments. To 
learn by mere imitation and to commit to memory are 
activities as true, though not so pronounced, as original 
discovery. They have their place, though not so high a 
place, in education. 

Least of all should anyone confuse self-activity with 
bodily activity, or take responses to mean only gross 
physical movements. The child who sits quietly absorbed 
in solving a problem is more active and more truly active 
than his neighbor in the next seat who is jumping up and 
down with glee at getting the answer. The activity of 
thought indeed often involves the cessation of many 
bodily actions. 

Finally, activity may as well result in the inhibition as 
in the production of ideas and feelings and movements. 
A fifth grade school-room in which children sit quietly 
reading or move about in a business-like way may repre- 
sent more real activity than a room in which the children 
are waving their hands, incessantly making comments 
and asking questions. The first room may, it is true, 
represent mere repression and absence of interest and 
work; but it may represent interest, thought and work 
plus the inhibition of aimless expressions thereof. It 
must not be forgotten that not to think the foolish, 
irrelevant thought is the essential of reasoning; that not 
to follow the wrong impulse is the essential of char- 
acter ; that not to make the aimless and crude movement 
is the essential of skill. Success is in great measure not 
making failures. What a man does depends upon what 
impulses are neglected or overcome. We are what we 
are by reason of what we are not, — what we do not per- 

Instincts and Capacities 41 

mit ourselves to become. Activity is inhibitory as well 
as impulsive. 

Under the topic, Self -Activity, books on education 
often treat of the value of experiment and inference by 
pupils in comparison with information-giving by the 
teacher, of so-called developing methods in comparison 
with the study of conclusions as stated outright, and of 
reasoning in comparison with learning by rote. These 
and other similar matters are, however, better studied in 
connection with the special topic, Reasoning, in Chap- 
ter X. 


The nature of the pupil as well as the nature of the 
stimulus decides his response. To arouse, direct and 
select from his responses is the work of the teacher. 
Responses of perception, absorption, memory, imitation 
and the like are useful, though not so worthy as responses 
of reflection, reasoning or invention. Activities of 
neglect, inhibition and guidance are even more important 
than activities of impulsion. 

For Further Reading 

W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, Chapters III- 
VII inclusive. 

E. A. Kirkpatrick, Fundamentals of Child Study, Chapters 
III-X inclusive, XII and XIV. 



Preparatory, Elements of Psychology, §§ 35-37, 42-45, 50 

§ 13. The General Law 

^ The general law of association and its supplement, the 
law of analogy or assimilation, teach that what any pupil 
thinks or feels or does on any occasion depends upon 
what he has thought and felt and done in the past and 
upon the present 'set' or tendency of his mind. He will 
respond to any stimulus in the way that he has responded 
to it or to some stimulus like it with resulting satisfaction, 
A mind's past experience and present content determine 
its responses. Just as education must at the start build 
on instincts and native capacities, so at each future step 
it must build on previous experience and pay heed to 
present conditions. If the knowledge or power needed 
as a preparation for the task in hand is lacking, the 
teacher's first duty is to secure it. This is the law of 
I apperception. 

Except in so far as unlearned tendencies of themselves 
provide proper responses, every act of teaching is subject 
to this law. To observe an object aright, the student 
must know certain facts about it and about what he is to 
look for ; to attend to a lesson properly he needs to know 
its aim and to have knowledge with which it makes con- 
nection ; to comprehend an argument he must have had 
training which impresses the pertinence of its steps; to 


Apperception 43 

be remembered a fact must have found a place in his 
system of thought and knowledge ; to reach a conclusion 
properly he must have had the data ; to acquire a certain 
technical skill in hand work he must have reached the 
necessary point of motor development. 

To proceed from the known to the related unknown, 
from rough preliminary knowledge to detailed and ade- 
quate knowledge, from simple facts to complex facts 
depending on them, to teach one thing at a time, — are 
rules each referring to one aspect of the general law of 
apperception. As nine-tenths of human life and learning 7 
illustrates the general law of association, so nine-tenths 
of teaching illustrates the use or abuse of the law of 
apperception. The teaching of reading depends largely 
upon knowledge of spoken language and of common 
things and events; the teaching of algebra relies upon 
knowledge of arithmetic; the teaching of multiplication, 
upon knowledge of addition; the teaching of the geog- 
raphy of North America, upon experience of the physical 
features of the neighborhood; a child's attitude toward 
his teacher depends upon his experience with previous 
teachers ; appreciation of literature requires knowledge 
of the meanings of words. The past is everywhere the ) 
key to the present. "^ 

§ 14. Detailed Applications: Exercises 

The student should have gained a thorough knowledge 
of the meaning and scope of apperception in the learner 
(that is, of the laws of association and analogy or assim- 
ilation) from the study of dynamic psychology.^ To 
give full realization of apperception as a principle of 

^The references under 'Preparatory' will provide this knowledge 
and prepare the student for the exercises. 

44 The Principles of Teaching 

teaching and to form the habit of judging the value of 
every stimulus, not by what it is in itself, but by what it 
will be to the pupil or class, is the aim of the exercises 
that follow. 

1. How would a ten year old boy brought up in an 
American city probably interpret *He gave him two 
guineas' ? 

2. How does your own previous experience or so- 
called 'apperceptive mass' influence your answer? 

3. Give an illustration from school life of a mistake 
due to the lack of proper previous experience. 

4. Give one due to the presence of unsuitable present 

5. A teacher in New York City took a class to 
Riverside Park (situated along the Hudson River) 
showed them the river, called attention to its size and 
then said, 'Now tell us the name of this great river.' 
'The Amazon,' was the prompt reply ! What would you 
suggest as a possible explanation? Whaf precautions 
would it be wise for that teacher to take on another 
similar excursion? 

6. It is hard to realize the lack of knowledge of 
pupils. Can the reader believe, for example, that a bright 
girl, a graduate of the grammar school, was greatly sur- 
prised to see apples growing on trees or that an intelli- 
gent eight-year-old boy in a city of over twenty thousand 
inhabitants was doubtful as to whether some coins given 
to him were pennies or nickels? Give two or three 
similar instances. 

Experiment 2, Write without help answers to the 
following questions : — 

What is the price of a ton of good hay? 

How many members has the House of Commons? 

What is the pituitary body ? 

Apperception 45 

How big is a scallop? 
What is the shape of a tomato leaf? 
Which way do the seeds in an apple point? 
What is a dumb-waiter? 
What is the opposite of 'if ? 

What does this mean, *He is going to take the L'? 
What is sold in a delicatessen shop? 
Compare your answers with the right ones. Should 
these questions be much harder for you than the follow- 
ing would be for a six-year-old entering school ? 
How long is two feet? 
How many legs has a pig? 
Where is your heart? 
How big is a cow ? 
What is the shape of a pine tree? 
Where does the sun rise? 
What does a baker do? 
What does rich mean? 
What does this mean, *He went away up the 

mountain' ? 
What grows on a farm? 
Experiment j. Arrange with some one in a country 
school, and also with some friend in a city school, to test 
one by one eight or ten children in the lowest class as 
follows and record their answers. Compare the two 

How big is a loaf of bread? 
" "^ " ahorse? 
" " " a cow? 
What does a teacher do? 
" " a policeman do? 
" " a farmer do? 
Experiment 4. Have your two friends also each read 
to eight or ten children in the second grade of the school 

46 The Principles of Teaching 

(it will be better to take them apart one at a time, but 
this is not absolutely necessary) selection A, without 
comment and have them draw pictures to tell the story. 
Let the story be read twice. Compare the drawings of 
the two groups. State briefly how their drawings illus- 
trate the fact of apperception. Make the same experi- 
ment with selection B. 


One day a fox came out of the woods near our house, 
and tried to catch a hen in the barn. But the hens saw 
him and made a great noise. Hero was in the yard, and 
he rsn into the barn and drove the fox off. Hero did not 
C3tch him, but he barked so loud that the fox ran for his 
life back to the woods. He did not get one of our hens 
for his dinner that day. Is not Hero a good dog? [15] 


Carl was a little lame bo}^ He lived in an attic with 
his mother. He used to look out of the window and 
watch the boys at play. He could see the men and the 
women and the horses and wagons in the street. One 
day there was a little baby playing in the street when the 
trolley car came around the corner. She was on the 
track right in front of it. Carl gave a scream, for he was 
afraid the baby v/ould be run over. But just then a big 
dog ran out into the street, took hold of the baby's dress 
with his teeth and carried her back to the sidewalk to her 
big sister. 

7. How does the principle of apperception apply to 
teaching the spelling of compound words? 

8. Make an argument of about one hundred words 
on the basis of the law of apperception in favor of begin- 
ning the study of geography with home geography. 

9. In what respect would this law support the prac- 
tice of beginning United States History with the dis- 
covery of America by Columbus and following the order 
of time ? 

10. In what respect would it support the opposite 

Apperception 47 

practice of beginning with an account of the nation as it 
now is, giving next a brief picture of national hfe 'when 
your fathers and mothers were little boys and girls/ 
giving next a brief picture of the nation a hundred years 
ago and then one of the nation in 1700, and only then 
passing to the early voyagers and colonists and tracing 
events and changes in conditions of life in chronological 
order ? 

11. What is the previous experience necessary before 
the definition of a pronoun can be taught properly? 

12. What argument for stating clearly the aim of a 
lesson do you draw from the principle of apperception? 

13. What argument for the use of reviews? 

14. Considering a review lesson from the point of 
view of apperception alone, which facts should be 
reviewed ? 

15. How does the fact of apperception help to 
account for the relatively inferior teaching of substitute 
teachers ? 

16. What is the experience or apperceptive basis 
necessary for the comprehension of the meaning of such 
words of relationship as this, which, nevertheless and its? 

17. Of the two factors which determine a pupil's 
response, (a) his previous experience of the stimulus and 
of other stimuli like it and (b) the temporary 'set' of his 
mind, which has the greater influence ? 

18. Which is influenced by stating the aim of a 
lesson ? 

19. Why Is it often not a loss of time to ask ques- 
tions which every member of the class is able to answer? 

20. Give two or more illustrations of gross neglect 
of the mental content of a pupil such as the following: 
" 'Will you please tell me why I carry one for every ten/ 
said little Laura to her Instructor. 'Yes, my dear,' said 

48 The Principles of Teaching 

she kindly. *It is because numbers increase from left to 
right in a decimal ratio.' "^ 

In the case of teaching about the physical world as in 
physical geography, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, 
human physiology and the like, the first hand observation 
of the objects themselves is the experience necessary to 
adequate knowledge of their structure, properties, rela- 
tions and actions. Without such an apperceptive basis, 
there is a high probability that the knowledge gained will 
not connect with reality or modify responses to actual 
situations of life and there is some danger of its being ex- 
clusively verbal. 

21. Apply this same principle to the question of the 
use of 'sources' in history. 

22. How then would you teach the fact of the trans- 
portation of soil by water? 

23. Apply the principle of the above paragraph to 
the teaching of the tables of weights, measures and for- 
eign money. 

24. What would be advisable as preparatory lessons 
before giving a book-lesson on the constitution of water ? 
By what would you replace the book-lesson if you were 
unfettered by practical limitations? 

25. What would be your first steps in teaching a 
class the function of the cotyledons of the bean? 

26. In teaching the structure and action of the 
human heart? 

2y. NamiC five cases in which first hand acquaintance 
with the things themselves is out of question ? 

28. Name five cases such as the study of bacteria in 
the high school where the practical difiiculties of giving 
direct acquaintance with the object to be studied out- 
weigh the advantages. 

^ The author rearrets that he is unable to give the source of thfs 
charming illustration of the frying pan and fire in teaching. 



29. Illustrate the profitable use of a school museum ; 
of school excursions ; of demonstrations of experiments 
in elementary science; of a school garden. 

In emphasizing the importance of paying heed to the 
past experience and present frame of mind of a pupil, one 
is likely to forget that we pay heed to them only in order 
to add to them. Good teaching will fit its stimuli to the 
pupil's knowledge, but only in order to increase it ; good 
teaching will work on his actual present tendency, but 
only to improve it. In the familiar recommendation. To 
proceed to the nnknoivn is as important as from the 



Talk about things of which the 
pupils can see two of a hmd, — 
as two hands, two hoys, etc. 

Let the pupils name objects of 
which they see two of a kind. 

Examples : " I see two boys ; 
I have two feet ; here are two 

"How many sticks have I 
here?" ("One.") 

"How many in my other 
hand?" ("One") 

" Now how many ? " [Put- 
ting them together.] ("Two.") 

" Then one stick and one 
stick are how many?" 

" One and one are how 
many ? " 

Illustrate in the same way 
with halls, pencils, nails, and 
other objects. 

" I strike the bell once ; I 
strike it once again. How many 
times'did I strike it ?" 


Make two lines on your slater, 
thus : 

Make two lines, thus: 

Make two dots, • 9 
Make two rmgs, O O 
Make two stars, >K >fc 
Put two dots together like 

these |, or these %, or these ^•. 
Put two stars together in the 

same way. 

Put two rings together m the 

same way. 

Make two lines cross each 

other, thus : 


Make two lines meet each 
other, thus : 

/\ L 

50 The Principles of Teaching 

knoimv. To simply review the known, to elaborate at 
length what pupils have long been familiar with, is a 
more harmful violation of the principle of apperception 
than to overwhelm them with facts which they cannot 
assimilate. Incomprehensibility is no worse than monoto- 
nous repetition. Indigestion is not so bad as starvation. 

30. What do you think of giving as the first work 
in arithmetic fourteen pages of such drill on the number 2 
as is exemplified in A. ? 

31. Collect from text-books four or more illustra- 
tions of the sort of violation of the principle of apper- 
ception mentioned in the paragraph preceding Question 
30. State wherein each one violates the principle. 

For Further Reading 

W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, Chapter XIV. 

J. Adams, Hcrbartian Psychology Applied to Education, 
Chapter III. 

C. A. McMurry and F. M. McMurry, The Method of the 
Recitation, Chapter VI. 



§ 15. The Meaning of Interests 

When any situation arouses attention, that is, leads 
the mind to busy itself with the thing or idea or feeling, 
it is called interesting. The tendency to devote one's 
thought and action to a fact is called interest in it. The 
feeling of arousal, of mental zest, of being drawn to the 
fact, is called the feeling of interest. 

With the fact and feeling of interest education is 
concerned in two ways : First, it must be the aim of 
education to encourage and create desirable and to dis- 
courage and destroy undesirabfe interests. From this 
point of view interests are an end. Second, we depend 
upon interests to furnish the motives for the acquisition 
of knowledge and for the formation of right habits of 
thought and action. From this second point of view 
interests are a means. Thus the interest in nature, in 
our physical surroundings and in animals and plants, the 
interest in bodily health and vigor, and the interest in 
truth, are ends for which education strives. Thus the 
interests in bodily movement and the interest in ownership 
are means by which children are led to gain skill and 
effectiveness in constructive work, drawing, cooking and 
the like. 

This distinction is important, for a majority of the 
errors made in teaching with respects to interests are due 
to confusing means and ends. 


52 The Principles of Teaching 

Interests may be native or acquired. Many human 
instincts are unlearned tendencies not to do something, 
but to take attitudes of interest or aversion. There are, 
that is, instinctive interests or instincts of interest. Many 
human habits are habits not of out and out thought or 
action, but of attitude, of interest and aversion. In 
general, then, the educational principles based on the 
psychology of instincts and habits are applicable to inter- 
ests as v^ell. 

§ 1 6. Interests as Ends 

The Control of Interests. — Not all natural interests 
are desirable. To destroy the interest in coarse excite- 
'ment is as necessary a work as to develop the interest in 
good reading. As with all instincts and habits, nature's 
tendencies are not safe guides to education's ideals. The 
destruction may be, as with all instincts, by giving the 
undesirable interest no chance for exercise, by forming 
the habit of meeting in some other way the situation con- 
cerned, {i. e., by substitution or redirection), and by 
actual repression by discomfort. Desirable interests are 
perpetuated, of course, by furnishing the stimuli that 
arouse them and by rewarding them with satisfaction. 
The capital with which an individual starts is the native 
interests, the instincts of interest in movement, novelty, 
color, action, living animals, excitement, rhythm, the 
opposite sex and the like. The problem is to select for 
continuance the good and to graft the interest to be 
acquired upon some interest already present, or rather to 
develop out of some interest already present the one 
which we seek. Thus from the interest in constructing 
a boat may be developed an interest in making accurate 
measurements ; from the interest in action and excitement 

Interests 53 

a wise school system gradually obtains an interest in 
history and literature. 

Three Causes of Interest. — Much assistance is given 
to the teacher in this process of refining and redirecting 
interests, by three facts. The first is the general law of 
association that whatever tendency brings satisfaction 
will be perpetuated and strengthened. Whenever an 
interest is made to profit a pupil, it will be preserved. 
Connect any response with an original or acquired satis- 
fier and it will satisfy. The hardest sort of bodily labor 
becomes interesting when it gives a boy a place on the 
football team or connects with the excitement and 
achievement of hunting big game. The second is the 
force^ of imitation. What the community cares about 
will interest each new member ; the teacher who is inter- 
ested in a subject will infect her class. The third is the 
fact that knowledge breeds interest, that, with certain 
exceptions, the power to handle a subject produces in the 
long run an interest in it, uninteresting as it may have 
been at the start. As soon as the high-school pupil can 
really read German, he is Hkely to gain an interest in it. 

Errors in Teaching. — In cultivating interests the 
chief danger is in mistaking one for another and so get- 
ting the wrong one. The boy may be thought to play 
football because of an interest in bodily perfection and 
athletic sport when his real motive is the interest in 
seeing his name in the paper, being applauded by large 
audiences, and being admired and envied by his fellows. 
The girl may be thought to possess a real interest in 
knowledge when her efforts are really only to beat Mary 
who failed to graduate. 

The chief defect of school instruction with respect to 
the acquisition of interests is that, as a consequence, they 
are not permanent. Interests are present under the 

54 The Principles of Teaching 

stimuli of school life which die out soon after it is com- 
pleted. As children we learn, but as adults we too often 
lose our love for learning: the higher feelings are nour- 
ished in the protected surroundings of the college, but do 
not long survive the transfer to the rougher outside 
world and competition with the interests in money, power 
and position. 


§ 17. Interests as Means 

All Work Implies Interest. — To a normal boy or 
girl physical or mental work without interest is an impos- 
sibility. When one does the most uninteresting work he 
still does it from interest, — interest in the avoidance of 
punishment, in maintaining his standing in class or in 
preserving his self-respect. Interest of some sort there 
must be. 

The problem of interest in teaching is not whether 
children shall learn with interest or without it ; they never 
learn without it; but what kind of interest it shall be; 
from what the interest shall be derived.^ There need be 
no quarrel between those who say all work should be 
made interesting and those who say all proper work 
should be done whether it is interesting or not. For both 
statements are true. The actual difference of opinion is 
about whether we should in large measure derive inter- 
ests in school work from the common instinctive interests 
in play, action, novelty, emulation and the like, or should 
derive them from the abstract and rare interests in duty 
and knowledge. The latter interests are the higher and 
if they are present it Is well to appeal to them. But in 

*When an individual is attracted by the intrinsic qualities of 
the work his interest may be called immediate or intrinsic; when 
the work does not interest him in and of itself but only by its conse- 
quences or connections, the interest is called derived. 

Interests 55 

actual school work the choice is comm'only not between 
the common instinctive interests and these higher ones, — 
not between, for instance, curiosity and love of pure 
truth, — but between one common interest and another, 
between, for instance, curiosity and fear of punishment. 

Practical Precepts. — The practical rules are simple: 
Having decided what an individual or a class ought to 
learn, arouse as much interest in it as is needed; get 
interest, but derive it from the best interest available. 
Other things being equal, get interest that is steady and 
self-sustaining rather than interest that flags repeatedly 
and has to be constantly reinforced by thoughts of duty, 
punishment or the like. Get the right things done at any 
cost, — but get them done with as little inhibition and 
strain as possible. Other things being equal, work with 
and not against instinctive interests. 

There is in reality not so much conflict between what 
children ought to learn and what is interesting to them 
as we often imagine. It is true that their interests in 
crude excitement, novel sensations, silly plays and the like 
work against their true progress, but it is also true that 
our failure to enter into the spirit of child-life, our neglect 
of their real needs, the unfitness of many of our methods 
to employ and interpret their intellectual life work equally 
against their true progress. To choose as the subject 
matter of instruction facts which are as remote from any 
real demands of a child's intellect as the geometry of a 
space of n dimensions is from any real demands of our 
own and then to seek to conjure up an interest in them is 
a poor solution of the problem of interest. One factor that 
should decide what children ought to learn and do is 
adaptation to the mtellectual and practical needs which 
the children can then and there appreciate; and this 
factor is also a chief determinant of their interests. 

56 The Principles of Teaching 

''And so has come up the modern theory and practice 
of the 'interesting,' in the false sense of that term. The 
material is still left ; so far as its own characteristics are 
concerned, just material externally selected and formu- 
lated. It is still just so much geography and arithmetic 
and grammar study; not so much potentiality of child- 
experience with regard to language, earth, and numbered 
and measured reality. Hence the difficulty of bringing 
the mind to bear upon it; hence its repulsiveness ; the 
tendency for attention to wander ; for other acts and 
images to crowd in and expel the lesson. The legitimate 
way out is to transform the material ; to psychologize it — 
that is, once more, to take it and to develop it within the 
range and scope of the child's life. But it is easier and 
simpler to leave it as it is, and then by trick of method to 
arouse interest, to make it interesting; to cover it with 
sugar-coating; to conceal its barrenness by intermediate 
and unrelated material ; and finally, as it w^ere, to get the 
child to swallow and digest the unpalatable morsel while 
he is enjoying tasting something quite different. *But 
alas for the analogy ! Mental assimilation is a matter of 
consciousness; and if the attention has not been playing 
upon the actual material, that has not been apprehended, 
nor worked into faculty." (J. Dewey, The Child and the 
Ciirricuhun, p. 38.) [17] 

False Views of Interest. — It is a common error to 
confuse the interesting with the easy and to argue that 
the doctrine of interest is false because it is wrong to 
make everything easy. This Is an error because in fact 
the most difficult things may be very interesting and the 
easiest things very dull. Walking, scribbling and nod- 
ding are not more Interesting than running, drawing 
pictures and making up faces. Indeed difficulty Is of 
itself rather interesting than otherwise. 

The real facts are that work at which one utterly 
fails, with which one makes no headway. Is commonly 
uninteresting, that the same thing becomes easier to an 
individual when attacked with interest, and that to any 

Interests 57 

individual those lines of work for which he possesses 
capacity are commonly interesting. 

Two things may be meant when a study or lesson 
is called hard ; ( i ) that it is generally so regarded and 
(2) that the individual doing it finds it hard. It would 
be a cowardly principle of teaching to omit work merely 
because it was hard in the first sense. But it would equally 
be the height of folly to despise an individual's work 
merely because he found it easy. The obvious course is 
to face bravely the tasks that are commonly esteemed 
hard and then do everything that can properly be done 
to make them as easy as may be. 

A second common error is to confuse the feeling of 
interest with pleasure and to argue that we cannot make 
school work interesting because some necessary features 
of it simply are not pleasurable. It is of course true that 
many things must be done by a school pupil which pro- 
duce no pleasure, but they may nevertheless be done with 
interest. A tug of war and putting up the heavy dumb- 
bell the fiftieth time are definitely painful, but may be 
very interesting. 

A third common error is to over-estimate the strength 
of children's interests in abstract thinking such as char- 
acterizes the logical aspects of arithmetic, formal gram- 
mar, deductive geometry and the syntax of foreign 
languages. In high schools where the pupils represent 
a selection of the more capable and scholarly, the teacher 
may depend upon a fair amount of the interest in mental 
gymnastics, in thought regardless of its content. But 
even in high schools this interest will be slight in a 
majority of cases and in the grammar school it is never 
safe to depend on it as a motive for a class. For the 
majority of all minds and the great majority of untutored 


58 The Principles of Teaching 

minds demand content, mental stuff, actual color, move- 
ment, life and 'thingness' as their mental food. 

There are two failures of teaching with respect to 
interest. The first is the failure to arouse any mental 
zest in a class, to lift the class out of a dull, listless, 
apathetic good behavior or keep them from illicit interests 
in grinning at each other, playing tricks, chewing candy 
and the like. This we all recognize as failure. The 
second type succeeds in getting interest, but the interest 
IS in the wrong thing. I\Iany classes sit entranced as the 
teacher, shows them pictures — they are thoroughly inter- 
ested and attentive — but they have no interest whatever 
in the principle or fact which the pictures are to illus- 
trate. A lecturer can always get interest by telling funny 
stories, but again and again he will find that the real 
content of his lecture has been entirely neglected. Too 
often the picture, the story, the specimen or the experi- 
ment removes as much interest from the lesson itself by 
distracting the pupil as it adds by its concreteness, life 
and action. It is never enough to keep a class interested. 
They must be interested in the right thing. 


Some interests are ends ; all interests may under 
proper circumstances be used as means. 

Good teaching perpetuates desirable instinctive inter- 
ests, using the same methods as in the case of instincts, 
and creates interests in facts that are not originally 
attractive by connecting them with facts that are. Its 
goal is interests in these facts for their own sake. 

Good teaching decides what is to be learned by an 
appeal not to interest, but to the general aim of educa- 
tion. Having so decided, It secures interest — the most, 
the best and the steadiest possible. Other things being 
equal It uses Instinctive rather than artificial interests 

( Interests 59 

and common rather than rare interests.) It is ever on 
the watch against mistaking one interest for another. 


§ 18. Exercises 

1. Name two or three interests which are ends in 

2. Name two or three interests which are only 

3. Illustrate the development of the interest in other 
people (the so-called social instinct) as an end. 

4. Illustrate its use as a means in teaching history. 
In teaching German. 

5. (a) Of the interests mentioned below name five 
that are largely instinctive, (b) Two that are largely 
acquired, (c) Two that are long delayed, (d) Three 
that appear early in life and also stay late, (e) Three 
that education should commonly weaken, (f) The two 
that are commonest, (g) The two that are rarest, (h) 
Three that are risky as motives in school. 

In excitement. 

In getting money. 

In mechanical contrivances. 

In moving rather than still things. 
. In the other sex. 

In romance. 

In adventure. 

In living animals. 
v.. In one's personal affairs. 

In society. 

In novelty. 

In music. 

In rhythm. 

In ownership. 

6o The Principles of Teaching 

In abstract thinking. 
In adornment. 
In the stock exchange. 
In philosophy. 

6. What sentence in the text is illustrated by the 
following? To develop good interests in art one should 
surround young children with pictures that not only are 
of artistic merit, but also possess the qualities of action, 
color or story-telling and which deal with subjects which 
children care about. 

7. How would you develop an interest in chemistry 
out of an interest in cooking? 

8. What common interests of boyhood might be used 
as a starting point for or reinforcement of the interest in 
chemistry ? 

9. Business men complain that the graduates of the 
schools can rarely write an effective letter. Pupils com- 
plain that composition is dry and uninteresting work. 
The same pupils who show little interest in school tasks 
often become absorbed in the serious study of some trade 
or profession as soon as they have decided to make it 
their occupation in life. Putting the three facts just 
mentioned together and recalling the first of the three aids 
to teachers in redirecting interests, arrange a plan for 
securing interest in composition writing in the high 

10. What is the danger in relying exclusively on 
artificial motives, external rewards and punishments, 
trusting that when sufficient knowledge has been gained 
an interest in the subject itself will develop? 

11. What interest is added to a subject for a student 
when he chooses it himself instead of being compelled to 
take it? 

12. How would you cure a boy of an interest in 

Interests 6i 

cheap blood-and-thunder stories? Of an interest in dis- 
play, in 'showing-off' ? 

13. What do you think makes the stories of Cin- 
derella, of Little Red Riding Hood and of The Three 
Bears so interesting to small children ? 

14. How would you explain the following case of 
marked interest in what most people would call an unin- 
teresting thing? 'I have seen a roomful of college stu- 
dents suddenly become perfectly still, to look at their 
professor of physics tie a piece of string around a stick 
which he was going to use in an experiment, but imme- 
diately grow restless when he began to explain the 
experiment.' [18] 

15. The interests in the concrete and in action can 
often be made of service in the most abstract subjects; 
e. g., paper-folding is of help in learning geometry. Illus- 
trate the same general fact in the case of learning the 
forms of the letters. 

16. Illustrate the wise use of each of the following 
interests as a means to gaining knowledge or skill : — The 
interest in ownership. The interest in money-making. 
The interest in living animals. 

17. Name three interests which contribute to make 
pupils eager to know their marks. Which of these are 
desirable, and which undesirable, interests? 

18. What would be the advantage of repeating a 
test (without warning, of course) after a month and 
giving to each pupil as a mark the amount of gain made 
over his record of a month before ? 

19. Illustrate the wise use of the dramatic instinct 
in the primary school. In the high school. 

20. One of the strongest of human tendencies Is to 
resist being balked or frustrated in the execution of any 
impulse after one has begun to act upon It. Give cases 

62 The Principles of Teaching 

of difficulty in managing children due to failure to make 
allowance for this tendency. 

21 How could you utilize the interest of high-school 
boys in inventions and mechanical contrivances? 

22. How might you perhaps utilize their interest in 
strength and bodily symmetry as an aid in the study of 
Greek ? In the study of physiology ? 

23. Name one result on school work of each of the 
following interests of adolescence? The interest in the 
other sex. The interest in self-direction, in being one's 
own master. The interest in religion. 

24. Which of the two following lists of topics for 
compositions is the better adapted to secure the interest 
of high-school classes^ 

A Canoeing Trip. The Duties of a Full-back. 

How to Choose a Bicycle. Building a Boat. 

Spring House-cleaning. The Construction of a Shot- 

The Appearance of Church gun, 
on Easter Sunday. 

The Prospects of our Base- 
ball Team. 

Nursing as a Profession. 

25. Consider the characters presented to students for 
emulation in school courses in history and in reading- 
books, from the point of view of your answer to ques- 
tion 24. What changes are needed to secure better 
adaptation to the interests of all students? 

26. What interests are appealed to by a mental 
arithmetic recitation ? 

2^. In what per cent, (roughly) of high-school 
pupils does geometry really appeal to the interest In pure 

28. Some one has said that we should study Latin 
to know how the Romans thought and felt. From what 

Interests 63 

interests does the high-school pupil usually study Latin? 

29. When is it justifiable (or least objectionable) to 
use a bad interest as a motive for school work ? 

30. What was Miss Bessie's error in the teaching 
described in the following? 

*'It had seemed to Miss Bessie advisable that the 
'children should know something of the world on which 
they live,' and for purposes of instruction she had selected 
a geyser and a volcano as important — not to say interest- 
ing — features of land structure. By means of a rubber 
ball with a hole in it, artfully concealed in a pile of sand, 
she had created a geyser, and with a bit of cotton soaked 
in alcohol and lighted she had simulated a volcano. 

''We began our work with geography in ignorance of 
these facts. After a few lessons on hills, mountains, 
islands, capes, and bays, the children informed us that 
they 'didn't like those old things.' 'Please, won't you 
give us the fireworks?' asked Freddie. 'Or the squirt?' 
added Agnes eagerly." [19] 

Experiment 5. Ask the children of a third or fourth 
grade class each to draw a picture of whatever they like. 
Examine their drawings. What is the predominant 
interest, in technical ability, in ornamentation, in making 
the drawing pretty or in expressing facts? 

Experiment 6. (a) Spend a Saturday afternoon in 
the reading-room of a public library or Young Men's 
Christian Association building. Make a plan of the room, 
locating the different magazines. Observe and record 
in the case of each boy from fifteen to eighteen years of 
age, which magazine he looks for first and which second 
(in case the first choice is in use). State briefly the facts 
you observe and the conclusions about the interests of 
boys of the high-school age which you draw from them. 
(b) If the above is impracticable, get some friend to 
ask the boys of a third or fourth year high-school class 
to each cross out from the list given below the names of 

64 The Principles of Teaching 

thos^ magazines about which they know nothing and then 
to mark the most interesting of those left (i) and the 
next most interesting (2). 
McClure's Magazine. Forest and Stream. 

Outing. The Century Magazine. 

The Scientific American. Boyhood. 
The Youth's Companion. Life. 
State briefly the facts and conclusions as in (a). 
Experiment 7. Which of the three selections, A, B 
and C, is the most interesting to children in the second 
year of school? What accounts for its superiority? 

Pick out the least interesting features of each selec- 
tion. State why they lack interest. 

Discuss each selection briefly (in from thirty to fifty 
words) from the point of view of interest. 

How did you decide which was the most interesting? 
What would be the best way to decide? 

i\lR. Longfellow 
This is a picture of Mr. Longfellow. 
He was the boy who lived near the sea. 
He is an old gentleman in this picture. 
He still loved the birds and flowers. 
His heart was always kind. 
He was a poet. 

A poet has beautiful thoughts. 
He writes them for others to read. 
His thoughts make people better. 
When he was a boy he went to school. 
Then he went to Bovv^doin College. 
Bowdoin College is in Maine. 
He then went across the ocean. 
He spent four years In other countries. 
When he came back he was a teacher In Bowdoin 

He lived afterwards in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 
He went there to teach in Harvard College. [20] 

Interests 65 


King Tawny Mane 
Here is a fable that comes to us from India. It 
has amused the children of that country for a great many 
years ; and, while you are trying to find the lesson which 
it teaches, it may also amuse you. 

2. There was once a lion whose name was Tawny 
Mane. He was so strong that all the other animals were 
afraid of him, and so he was called the king of the forest. 
He liked to kill every animal that came in his way, and 
there was no living thing in all the land that was safe 
from him. 

3. At last, one day, all the animals met to talk about 
their troubles, and see if they could not find some plan 
to save themselves from King Tawny Mane. They 
talked a long time, and then agreed what to do. 

4. In the evening they went together to the lion's 
den. King Tawny Mane had just had a full meal, and 
so he did not try to harm any of them. "What do you 
want here?" he roared. 

5. This frightened them very much. vSome of them 
ran back into the thick woods. But the bravest stood 
still. "Speak, and tell me what you want," said the king. 

6. Then Sharp Ears, the fox, stood up and spoke. 
"O king," he said, "we have come to see you about a very 
great matter. Do you know that if you keep on as you 
have begun, you will soon kill all the beasts in the 

7. "And what if I do?" said Tawny Mane. 

"Then what will become of you?" said Sharp Ears. 
"What kind of a king will you be when you have killed 
all your subjects?" 

8 "But I must have something to eat," said Tawny 
Mane. "I must have food." 

9. "Yes, said Sharp Ears, "and that is just what we 
have come to talk about. We have thought of a plan by 
which you shall have all the food you want without going 
out of doors to get it." 

10. "That would be a good plan," said Tawny Mane. 
"But tell me what it is." 


66 The Principles of Teaching 

11. "We will give you one animal every day," said 
Sharp Ears. "We will draw lots, and the one upon 
whom the lot falls shall come to your den. You will not 
have to hunt at all." 

12. "Good!" said the king. "We will try your plan, 
and see how we like it." 

13. For some time after this, things were very quiet 
in the forest. Every morning one of the animals went 
down into Tawny Mane's den, and never came out again. 
The lion liked the new plan quite well. 

14. At last the lot fell upon a little rabbit named 
Cotton Tail, and he was sent to make a call upon the king. 
He was in no hurry to go. He played along the road 
until after dinner time. Then, with big eyes and gentle 
steps, he went and stood at the lion's door. 

15. King Tawny Mane was very hungry, and when 
he saw the rabbit he roared, "Why are you so late ? Even 
the elephant knows better than to keep me waiting." 

16. The rabbit bowed low and said, "I know I am 
late. But if you could only see what I have seen, you 
would not blame me." 

17. "What have you seen?" said the lion. 

"I have seen something that may have a good deal to 
do with your keeping this kingdom," said Cotton Tail. 

18. "Tell me about it," said the lion. He was 
always afraid that something would happen to drive him 
out of his kingdom. 

19. "I can not tell you," said Cotton Tail, "but if you 
will come with me, I will show you what I saw." Then 
he hopped away, and the lion followed him until they 
came to the mouth of an old well. At the bottom of the 
well there was a little water, and under the water there 
was nothing but soft sand. 

20. "Just look in here," said Cotton Tail. 

King Tawny Mane looked in. He thought he saw 
another lion at the bottom of the well. He showed his 
teeth; the other lion showed his teeth. "I am the king 
of the forest !" roared Tawny Mane. The other lion 
said nothing ; but Tawny Mane thought that he roared. 

21. "I will show you that I am the king," growled 

Interests 6y 

Tawny Mane. He was so angry that he did not know 
what to do. He jumped into the well, only to find that 
there was nothing but water and soft sand at the bottom. 
He could not get out. 

22. Then little Cotton Tail peeped down and called 
to the lion. 'Tawny Mane," he said, "your kingdom is 
at an end !" 

23. Little by little, Tawny Mane sank in the sand. 
In the evening Cotton Tail peeped down again. All was 

24. After that, the rabbit was looked upon as a great 
hero of the forest. But when the other beasts wanted to 
make him their king, he said, "No ! I am only a rabbit, 
and I do not want to be a king." [21] 



We must never forget that we do not live to eat, but 
that we eat to live. 

Our food is the flesh of beasts, birds, and fish, and the 
fruits of the earth. 

Beef is the flesh of the ox, pork is the flesh of the pig, 
and mutton is the flesh of the sheep. 

Apples grow on trees, and grapes grow on vines. 
Turnips and beets grow in the ground. 

Bread and cake are made of flour. Tea is the leaf of 
a bush which grows In the far East. Cofifee is the seed 
of a berry which grows on a tree. 

Salt, which is put into most of our food, is got from 
mines, or from salt-water wells. [22] 

For Further Reading 

W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, Chapter X. 
J. Adams, Herbartian Psychology Applied to Education, 
Chapter X. 


Individual Differences 
§ 19. Variability in General 

Common observation shows that children differ greatly 
in their mental make-up and psychology proves these dif- 
ferences to exist in the case of all mental qualities and to 
be of the utmost practical importance. In the physical 
characteristics of the sense and motor organs, in the 
strength of instincts and capacities, in the nature of their 
previous experiences and inborn and acquired interests — 
no two children are exactly alike and any one school class 
will show extensive differences. The same stimulus can- 
not be expected to produce exactly the same response in 
any two and will rarely produce anything like the same 
response from all. 

Such variations exist throughout living nature; trees 
do not all grow equally fast, seeds will not all produce 
equal crops, one hundred horses will not be equally fast 
or strong ; but the variations in human intellect and char- 
acter are especially great in amount and complex in 

The Nature of Mental Differences. — It is a common 
but absolutely false notion that in any quality or com- 
bination of qualities children can be divided into a 
'normal' group all closely alike and a group of excep- 
tional children differing widely from the normal. On 
the contrary, the form of distribution of mental traits is 


Individual Differences 


commonly continuous, — is such that people are found 
possessing every grade of ability from the highest to the 
lowest, every amount of the quality from the greatest to 
the least. Thus in addition people do not fall into two or 
three sharply defined classes, average adders, good 
adders and bad adders, but range as shown in the meas- 
urements given below of eighty-three seventh-grade 
pupils (Table I). Children are not active or inert, but 
vary all the way from greatest to least strength of the 
instinct of physical activity. They are not bright, 
average and dull, but are very, very bright, very bright, 
less bright, still less bright, about half way from the 
brightest to the dullest, somtewhat dull, duller, very dull 
and very, very dull, with a practically infinite variety of 
grades in between. 

Table I. 

In a test in addition, all pupils being allowed the same time, 
I pupil did 3 examples correctly 







































































































Their Amount. — Small differences are more frequent 
than large ones. In the case of the addition ability 

70 The Principles of Teaching 

described above a patient reader can figure out that there 
are about 240 times as many differences of i as there are 
of 17, that there are 70 times as many differences of 2 or 
less as there are of 15 or more, and that there are about 
8 times as many differences of o to 8 as there are of 9 to 
17. And in general the form of distribution is such that 
between very many individuals the differences are little, 
that between many they are moderate and that between a 
few only are they very great. The exact facts in the case 
of the abilities of the seventh-grade pupils in addition are 
as shown in Table II. 

Table II. 

Of the 3403 differences between one seventh-grade pupil and 
another of the 83 tested in addition, 

247 were differences of o amount 

















































































2 " " 17 " 

In the case of the ability in addition we notice also 
that the different grades of ability are by no means equally 
frequent, but that all the cases cluster around the abilities 
10 to 13 (see Table I). This fact becomes even clearer 
if one pictures the frequency of each of the different 

Individual Differences 


grades of ability by the size of an area as in Fig. i and 
Fig. 2. 






, 1 

1 , 







Fig. 1. 

Fig. I. The different abilities in addition are denoted on a vertical scale, 3 
meaning 3 examples done correctly, 4 meaning 4 examples done correctly, and 
so on for 5, 6, 7, 8, etc. The number of pupils who were of each ability is 
denoted by the horizontal length of the column in each case, each sixth of an 
inch of horizontal length standing for one individual. Thus there was i 
pupil who did only 3 examples correctly, i who did only 4 examples, 2 who 
did 5, s who did 6 and so on. It is obvious at a glance that there are far 
more individuals, L e. that there is a far larger surface, in the middle third 
of the scale than in the lower or in the upper third. 

In any group of the same general class with respect 
to age or training, such a clustering of the cases, com- 
monly around a medium degree of the ability, will be the 
case. Individuals, that is, vary about a central type, so 
that we can think of any single individual's ability as a 
plus or minus deviation from the central tendency or type 
of his age, sex or grade. Tables III to VIII show this in 
the case of the distribution of six different abilities. The 
facts of Tables III-VIII are presented graphically in Figs. 


The amount of difference actually found in children 


The Principles of Teaching 

of the same age or in children in the same school grade 
is greater than teachers perhaps realize. The range of 
ability in school children^ of the same age is such that in 


8 4 5 6 BTa 

Fig. 2. 
Fig. 2. This is constructed on the same general principle as Fig. i, the 
difference being that in Fig. 2 the scale of ability is drawn from left to right 
instead of from low down to high up. Hence in this case, the vertical length 
of the columns represents the number of pupils, i. e., the frequency of each 

a majority of capacities the most gifted child will, in 
comparison with the least gifted child of the same age, 
do over six times as much in the same time or do the same 
amount with less than a sixth as many errors. The sam- 
ples given in Tables III, IV and VII and Figs. 3, 4 and 7 
give a concrete idea of the amount of the differencesf 
between children of the same year-age in representative 

If the best speller of a class can spell correctly such 

* These figures are true for the children whom teachers have in 
regular classes, — for such children as are not so far below the aver- 
age as to fail to get on at all in school. If pronounced defectives 
were included the range of differences would be still greater. 

Individual Differences 73 

words as fatiguing, appreciate, delicious, guarantee, 
triumph and accident, the worst speller will barely spell 
such words as house, dollar, potato, present, severe and 
praise. If the weakest pupil of a class in computation 
can do five examples in ten minutes the best pupil will 
probably do at least twenty. Roughly speaking, the 
teacher of a class, even in a school graded as closely as is 
possible in large cities where two classes are provided in 
each building for each grade and where promotion occurs 
every six months, will find in the case of any kind of work 
some pupil who can do from two to five times as much in 
the same time or do the same amount from two to five 
times as well as some other pupil. The highest tenth of 
her class will in any one trait have an average ability 
from one and three-fourths to four times that of the 
lowest tenth. Even if she picks out the half of the class 




abilities - 

of II 

year olds 




Scores made 


in addition 

of pupils 

5 or 

6 by 

'l : 



8 " 



9 " 

10 " 


" s 

II " 

12 " 



13 " 





16 " 




18 " 




20 " 



21 " 

22 " 



23 " 




25 " 

26 " 




28 " 




30 " 



2^ ;; 

3^ r. 



33 " 




35 " 












41 " 





44 " 






: rapidity 





year old 




er of 



crosses made 


in a fi 





6 or 

7 by 



8 " 

9 '' 


10 " 

II " 


" s 

12 " 

13 " 



14 " 

15 " 



16 " 

17 " 



18 " 

19 " 



20 " 

21 " 



22 " 

^3 : 



24 " 

25 " 



26 " 

27 " 



28 " 

29 " 



30 " 

31 " 



3^ ; 

33 ;; 



34 " 

35 " 



36 " 

37 " 


38 ;; 

39 " 



40 " 

41 " 




The Principles of Teaching 

<( «- « 

Table V. 
The abilities of 6th 
grade girls ^ in ob- 
serving mispelled 

Number of Number 
misspellings of 

noticed children 

ID to 14 by I girl 

15 " 19 " 6 " s 

20 " 24 " 10 " 

25 " 29 " if 

30 '' 34 " 25 

35 " 39 '; 27 ;; 

40 " 44 " 35 
45 " 49 " 18 " 
SO " 54 " 25 

55 " 59 " 17 
60 " 64 " 18 " 

65 " 69 " 10 " 

7° ;; 74 ;; 3 ;; 

75 79 2 

80 " 84 " 2 " 

85 " 89 " I " 

90 " 94 " I " 

Table VII. 
The abilities of 12 
year old boys in ob- 
serving letters. 
Number of Number 
A's of 

marked children 

28 or 29 by I boy 
30 " 31 " I " 
32 " 33 " 3 " s 
34 " 35 " 2 '* 
36 " 37 " 2 " 
38 " 39 " 5 " 
40 " 41 " 9 " 
42 " 43 " 5 " 
44 " 45 " 8 " 
40 47 12 
48 " 49 " 15 " 
50 " 51 " 8 " 
52 " 53 " 18 " 
54 " 55 " 5 " 

56 " 57 " 5 " 
S8 " 59 " 3 " 
60 " 61 " 4 " 
62 « 63 " I " 
64 " 65 " I " 

66 " 67 " I " 
68 " 69 " o " 
70 « 71 « I « 

Table VI. 

The abilities of 4th 

grade girls in 

thinking of the 

opposites of 


Score made Number 

in test with of 

opposites children 

—9 to —5 by 3 girls 
-4 " o - s " 

10 " 14 " 33 " 

15 " 19 " 36 " 

20 " 24 " 29 " 

25 " 29 " 16 " 

30 " 34 " II " 

35 " 39 " 4 " 

40 " 44 " 3 " 

Table VIII. 

The abilities of 4th 

grade boys in 


Per cent, of Number 
words spelled of 

correctly children 

20 to 23 by I boy 

24 " 27 " o " 

28 " 31 " o " 

32 " 35 " 2 " s 

36 " 39 " 2 " 

40 " 43 " 6 " 

44 47 7 ^^ 

48 " 51 " 9 " 

52 " 55 " 8 « 

56 " 59 " 5 " 

60 " 63 " 6 " 

64 " 67 " 12 " 

68 " 71 " II " 

72 " 75 " 4 " 

76 " 79 " 9 " 

80 " 83 " 7 " 

84 " 87 " 7 " 

88 " 91 " 3 " 

92 " 95 " I " 

96 " 99 " I " 

Individual Differences 






Figs. 3-t 

Figs. 3-8. These figures represent the facts of tables III-VIII. They are 
drawn after the same plan as Fig. 2 except that the sides of the columns are 
omitted where they are not needed to show the form of distribution. 
Fig. 3 represents the abilities of 11 year olds in addition. 

Fig. 4 
Fig. s 
Fig. 6 
Fig. 7 

10 year old girls in rapidity of movement. 
6th grade girls in observing misspelled words 
4th grade girls in thinking of opposites of words 
12 year boys in observing letters. 
4th grade boys in spelling. 

"j^ The Principles of Teaching 

that are most closely alike in any ability, she will yet find 
within that half a difference between its lowest and 
highest such that the latter is from one and one-fourth to 
one and three-fourths times as competent as the former.^ 
The facts of Tables V, VI and VIII and Figs. 5. 6 and 8 
give a concrete idea of the amount of the differences be- 
tween children of the same grade. 

The following samples of pairs of papers, each pair 
coming from the same class-room, tell the story of indi- 
vidual differences more vividly than any words or tables 
of figures can. These samples are In every way repre- 
sentative of the amount of difference to be expected in an 
ordinary class of even a well graded school. The classes 
from which they come were taken quite at random. 

Tzvo papers, A and B, written by members of the same 
grade and class in a test of logical power. 

The questions asked were : — 

1. A boy said: *T know ten good men who are doc- 
tors and ten bad men who are policemen. So doctors are 
better men than policemen." Did he prove it? Why? 
or why not? 

2. If all the boys who are good in arithmetic are 
good in spelling, will all the boys who are good In spelling 
be good in arithmetic ? Why ? or why not ? 

3. A man said : "I know forty boys that studied hard 
and they all were promoted every year ; so if you want to 
get rich, study hard." Was he right? Why? or why 

4. If there was no bread or flour would everyone 
starve ? 

5. Is this true: "The more we eat, the more w^e 
grow" ? 

^ The statements and figures of th^e paragraphs are by no means 

guesses but are made on the basis of measurements of the actual 

differences found by measuring the abilities of thousands of school 
children in a dozen or more different traits. 

Individual Diiferences yy 

6. Is this true : "If people were all blind, some 
women would not wear pretty dresses"? 

y. If there were no schools, would children learn 
anything ? 

8. What difference would it make to people if the 
price of coal went up to twice what it is now? 

9. Why do people send their children to school 
"nstead of making them work? 

10. Which would be the worse: to have all the 
money in the world disappear or to have all the steel in 
the world disappear? Whv? 


1. The boy did not prove it. There may be as many 
good policemen as there are doctors, even if he did not 
happen to know any. 

2. No. Some boys may be able to spell well, even 
if they are not good in arith. I know from experience. 

3. He was not right. The boys might have grad- 
uated from the school and yet be poor. A great many 
rich men have little or no education. 

4. No! 

5. No! 

6. Yes. 

7. They might. 

8. People would either spend twice as much for coal 
as they do, or they would not use as much. They might 
burn wood instead, so they could probably keep warm. 

9. A man or a woman with an education is a great 
deal better mentally and morally, and possibly physically, 
for they can earn their own living better when they grow 
up, as teachers, lawyers, doctors, etc., than they could if 
they chopped wood or dug in a tunnel for a living. 

10. To have all the money disappear, because the 
whole world (or most of it) would be reduced to want 
and misery without money, whereas, if we have money 
we can make steel from Iron. 


1. (No answer made). 

2. are all good. 2. yes. because they because 
these question says they are 

y8 The Principles of Teaching 

3. yes. because all that study hard will know how 
to make money and so get rich. 

4. no 

5. yes. 

6. yes 

7. I dont believe so 

8. It would make them twice as poor as they are 
now and the poor of today would freeze to death. 

9. because they wont to fit them to work in the world 
when they have grown up. 

10. All the money, because we need steel for build- 
ing buildings and houses to live in. 

Two papers, A and B, written by members of the same 
grade and class in a test of logical memory. 

The following passage was read once and the children 
were asked to write the facts stated in the passage in 
their own or the author's words : — 

Everywhere air is the first and food is the second 
necessity of existence. 

The air we generally take for granted; but it is 
obviously impossible to get it pure in a town like Man- 
chester, and very difficult to get it at all at the bottom of 
a mine 4,000 feet deep. This extreme depth is very 
rarely reached, for instance in mines near Berlin or near 
Prague ; but it is certain that in any large town in a min- 
ing district the quality of the air both above and below 
ground most seriously affects the population. 

Moreover, its physical effects are not the worst. In 
the yearly records of crime such towns occupy most 
unenviable positions. 


Air is the first and food is the second necessity for life. 
We generally take air for granted, but it is very difficult 
to obtain pure air in a town like Manchester and very 
hard to get at all, at the bottom of a mine three or four 
thousand feet deep. Such depths as this are seldom 
reached, however, as for example the mines of Berlin 

Individual Differences 79 

Moreover, lack o£ air is not only physically bad, but 
morally, for in such places the rate of crime is very high. 

air is not hard to get in high places but in mines and 
other places of the earth where the ground is low it is 
hard to get in the extrem it also affects the people 

Two papers, A and B, written in a test like the pre- 
ceding, the passage read being as follows: — 

The soils of the world may roughly be divided into 
two great groups, according to the way the materials of 
that soil have been accumulated. We may have a soil 
which has been formed by the decaying of the rock on 
which it lies, or we may have a soil the particles of which 
have been brought from very many places and perhaps 
from a great distance. Of the latter group the more 
important are the soils carried along and finally deposited 
either by the rivers, the wind, or by moving ice. 


The soils of the world may roughly be divided into 
two kinds. This is partly due to the materials of which 
the soil is made. Sometimes it is due to the decaying of 
the rock on which it is. Another kind is that which has 
been gathered from different places by the wind, rivers 
or ice. 


The rock is sometimes deposited by moving ice some- 
times by 

Two translations, A and B, made by two pupils of the 
same grade and class (and age). 

The passage to be translated was as follows : — 
Atticus adolescentulus propter affinitatem P. Sul- 
picii, qui tribunus plebi interfectus est, non expers fuit 
illius periculi. Namque Anicia, Pomponii consobrina, 
nupserat (M.) Servio, fratri Sulpicii. Itaque interfecto 
Sulpicio, posteaquam vidit Cinnano tumultu civitatem 
esse perturbatam neque sibi dari facultatem pro dignitate 

8o The Principles of Teaching 

vivendi, quin alterutram partem offenderet, dissoclatis 
animis civium, cum alii Sullanis, alii Cinnanis faverent 
partibus, idoneum tempus ratus studiis obsequendi suis, 
Athenas se contulit. Ac ne ilia peregrinatio detrimentum 
aliquod afferret rei familiari, eodem magnam partem for- 
tunarnm traiecit suarum. Hie ita vixit, ut universis 
Atheniensibus merito esset carissimus. 

Tranquillatis autem rebus Romanis remigravit Ro- 
mam, ut opinor, L. Cotta et L. Torquato consulibus, quem 
quidem sic universa civitas Atheniensium prosecuta est, 
ut lacrimis desiderii futuri dolorem indicaret. 


Atticus a young man because of his friendship with 
Sulpicius, the tribune of the people who was killed was 
not free from this danger. For Anicia the wife of Pom- 
ponius had nursed Servius, brother of Sulpicius. And 
so after Sulpicius was killed and after he saw that the 
state was aroused by the revolt of Cinna and that no 
opportunity was given for him to live in accordance with 
his dignity without offending one or other of the parties, 
for the minds of the people were divided, some favoring 
the party of Sulla, some that of Cinna, and after he 
thought it was a proper time for pursuing his studies, 
he betook himself to Athens. And lest this migration 
should bring any disgrace upon his private affairs 
(family) he transferred a great part of his fortune to this 
state. Here he so lived that because of his worth he 
was most highly esteemed by all the Athenians (literally 
was most dear to all Athenians). 


Atticus a youth on account of P. Sulpicus who 

was a tribune of the people, was not of his danger. 
And for Anicia, of Pompey, had , the 

father of Sulpicuo. And so by the killing of Sulpicius, 
after he saw the state to be disturbed by a tumult nor to 
give to himself the ability on account of his dignity, that 
might offend the other part, the unassociated minds of 
the citizens, with some SullanI other CInnane might be 
favored by some the time was followed with their 

desires, Athens carried Itself. And lest that some 

Individual Differences 8 1 

determination was brought to the common interest, by 
the same a great part of their fortune was brought. He 
so won that he was named the most dear to all Athens. 

Two papers, A and B, written by members of the same 
grade and class in a test in algebra. 

The test was : — 

Do these examples as quickly as you can. 

Do not copy them but put the work right under each 

Take the quickest way you can to get the correct 
answers : 

I. Simplify ; -j^-^-v- ^^ ^ '^ c 

(s^b^ f^-^\ / c^\ 

y-T-^ J \a^b ) \x\y) 

2. What are the values of x and y If ^x -j- 33^ = 8 

and 'jx — 33' = 4 

3. A shepherd being asked how many sheep he had 
in his flock, said "If I had as many more, half as many 
more, and seven sheep and a half, I should then have 
500." How many sheep had he? 

4. What are the values of x and a; if i — ' -= 

^ -" X — y X — ^3; 


5. Simplify 

m-f n 

m — n 

m — n 

' m^n 



m-\-n 7if — n 

6. If to the double of a certam number 14 be added, 
the sum is 154. What is the number? 


vi a 


^2 The Principles oi Teaching 



X'-lx^>^-^> Af-^ Xl-V;«»^»-^x^'-^ 



;/VM,>t. - /vv 

Individual Differences 


Two papers, A and B, written by members of the same 
grade and class in a test in spelling. 

A. B. 

greatful gratful 

elegant eleagent 

present present 

patience paisionce 

succeed suckseed 

severe survere 

accident axadent 

sometimes sometimes 

sensible sensible 

business biusness 

answer anser 

Principles of Teaching. 

•The practical consequence 

of the fact of individual differences is that every general 
law of teaching has to be applied with consideration of 
the particular person in question. Every stimulus must 
be given not to men or to children in general, but to a 
particular individual or group characterized by certain 
pecuHarities. The responses of children to any stimulus 
will not be invariable like the responses of atoms of 
hydrogen or of filings of iron, but will vary with their 
individual capacities, interests and previous experience. 

Class teaching is then always a compromise. The 
best stimulus for one pupil can only rarely be the best 
for the others. A teacher has to choose what is for the 
greatest good of the greatest number. He cannot expect 


84 The Principles of Teaching 

to drive forty children abreast along the highroad of 
education. The same responses must not be expected 
from all. Though obliged often to teach a class as a 
class, the teacher must measure the actual progress of 
the class by the results in each individual. 

This does not at all conflict with the truth of the 
general laws. The law of instinct is true though children 
possess instincts in differing degrees of strength ; the law 
of interest is true though children have different interests. 
Nor should the differences in children blind us to their 
likenesses. Similarity in general features is as true a 
fact as differences in details. Children differ greatly in 
their likes and dislikes, but almost all children like action 
and novelty. Some children like action more than others, 
but almost all children like it very much. Children differ 
greatly in their capacities, but it is safe to expect that in 
the great majority of cases the capacity for concrete 
thought will be stronger than that for abstract thought. 
It is folly to give up the attempt to get rational principles 
for teaching because the teacher's task varies with the 
individual to be taught. So also does the task of medicine 
depend on the individual to be cured, the task of agri- 
culture on the particular crop in question. In all these 
three cases we need both general principles and their 
sagacious application to individual problems. 

The worst error of teachers with respect to individual 
differences is to neglect them, to form one set of fixed 
habits for dealing with all children, to teach 'the child' 
instead of countless different living individuals. To 
realize the varieties of human nature, the nature and 
amount of mental differences, is to be protected against 
many fallacies of teaching. 

A second error from which all of us suffer is to 
credit our scholars with natures like our own. We think 

Individual Differences 85 

of them as duplicates more or less of ourselves. If we are 
quick learners, we expect too much of them; if we have 
sensible, matter-of-fact minds, we have no patience with 
their sentimentalities and sensitiveness ; if we are precise 
and neat and systematic we fail to understand how intol- 
erable it is for them to lead a regular, orderly existence. 
Teachers need to add to the maxim, 'See ourselves as 
others see us,' the still more important one, 'See others 
as they are.' 

§ 20. Differences in General Mental Constitution 

We may profitably think of adults as men (or women) 
of thought, men of feeling and men of action. The 
scientist or inventor is typical of the first class, the poet 
or musician of the second, and the general or politician 
of the third. Of course, the complexity of human nature 
is so great that these classes are by no means clear and 
that many individuals will be prominent in tv/o or in all 
three of these directions, while others will seem to belong 
somewhat equally well in any class. Still the division is 
often useful in making our judgments clear and is useful 
in the case of school children as well as of adults. Given 
any situation, some children will tend to think it out, oth- 
ers to respond emotionally and still others to do something. 
Propose to a class that instead of two sessions a day a 
single session lasting from nine till two be held. Some 
children will argue pro and con ; others will cry out, 'Oh, 
that will be fine!' or T don't like that at all'; others will 
go to work to persuade their parents to vote in favor of 
one side or the other, will start petitions and the like. 

Children of thought make the least difficulty in 
schools. Schools have been developed to suit them and 
teachers, being themselves commonly of that type, appre- 


86 The Principles of Teaching 

date their nature and needs. The teacher's mistake is 
more Hkcly to be to credit all children with this general 
mental makeup. 

Of children of feeling it may be said in the words of 
the nursery rhyme that when they are good they are very 
good indeed and when they are bad they are horrid. 
Nothing is more charming than the well directed enthu- 
siasms, the bursts of noble emotion, the courage, loyalty 
and sympathy, the ardent responses to situations that 
touch the heart, of the child of this type. On the other 
hand, nothing is more of a nuisance than the prejudice 
that will not give way to fact, the sentimentality that is 
satisfied with feeling nobly without doing anything, the 
emotional excitement that passes from love to hate or 
from zeal to disgust on the slightest provocation. Such 
children are both the blessing and the bane of the teacher. 
Easily suggestible but hard to convince, easily aroused 
but easily discouraged, often brilliant but rarely steady, 
they require tact more than either of the other groups. 
The teacher's special duty to them is to direct their 
emotional fervor into useful channels and to teach them 
two great lessons: first, to judge by facts, not by their 
feelings, and second, to utilize every noble sentiment by 
acting upon it at once, — by making it a stimulus to the 
formation of a good habit. 

To children of action the schools have been in the 
past least well adapted. Children often complain of 
school that there is nothing to do ; boys who apparently 
get little out of school learn quickly and surely in the 
world of business and industry ; students who could not 
manage their college studies, become eminent managers 
of men. The qualities of efficiency, cooperation and 
leadership in action are too important to be neglected by 
any teacher. Although the school is arranged specially 

Individual Differences 87 

for intellectual education it cannot afford to be unfair to 
those pupils whom nature has destined to be primarily 
not learners but doers. To collect samples of food from 
shops in the town is as good a lesson as to learn the chief 
products of Louisiana; to arrange for an excursion to a 
neighboring factory is as instructive a task as to learn 
the history of the invention of the cotton gin. 

§ 21. Differences in Thought 

Types of Intellect. — Indivivlual intellects can be 
divided roughly into two classes : those able to work with 
ideas and those able to work with things. Some children 
manage numbers, words, parts of speech, chemical sym- 
bols and the like, but fail relatively in measuring boards, 
catching fish, cooking meals or making toys. They are 
the idea thinkers. Others make little headway with their 
arithmetic, grammar or text-book in chemistry, but suc- 
ceed in the shop, the woods and the laboratory. They 
are the thing thinkers. There is, however, no opposition 
between these two types; indeed, a high degree of skill 
with, ideas means a higher than average skill with things. 
Still for practical purposes we can classify children by 
their special strength into these two groups. 

Schools have hitherto been managed primarily in the 
interest of the idea thinkers. It has been left for shops, 
trades and the practical activities of life to give the other 
group the training which their natures crave. More- 
over teachers, who are likely to be of the idea thinker 
type are, as a consequence, likely to be unfair to the thing 
thinkers, — to look down on the children who do not do 
well in the typical school studies, however great their 
practical talents may be. But obviously the world needs 
both; the school should give opportunity for both; the 

88 The Principles of Teaching 

teacher should esteem both. To make a dynamo may not 
be as valuable as a preparation for college entrance 
examinations as to understand one ; it may not be as use- 
ful a talent in the world's service. But it is one by no 
means to be despised. We must teach so as to help both 

A special class of the idea thinkers is the abstract 
thinkers, those who can handle not only the concrete facts 
of life, but also the symbols of arithmetic, algebra and 
geometry, the abstractly defined parts of speech and rules 
of syntax or the general laws of science. The abstract 
thinker enjoys mental gymnastics, the game of thinking 
regardless of the content of thought or its practical con- 
sequences. He is likely to be the pride of his teachers 
and to win the honors which schools give. For, just as 
schools and teachers commonly favor the idea thinker in 
comparison with the thing thinker, so they commonly 
favor the abstract rather than the concrete thinker. It 
is true that abstract power is rarer and perhaps more 
estimable than concrete power, but the world needs both 
and teachers must care for both. Practical issues, mat- 
ters of mere fact, observations of nature and human life, 
and interests in the concrete realities of the world belong 
to the teacher's work as truly as do the abstract prin- 
ciples of language, mathematics and science. 

Exceptionally Deficient Intellects. — Out of a thou- 
sand children six or eight perhaps are so stupid as to 
be unable to get on at all in school or to look after them- 
selves outside of school. They are the idiots, imbeciles 
and the somewhat more gifted class whom we call the 
feeble minded. Such children should be taught in insti- 
tutions or at least in special classes, but as schools are 
now arranged a primary school teacher is fortunate who 
does not in the course of a few years find in her class 

Individual Differences 89 

some child whose education by ordinary methods seems 

The chief defects in such children are: slowness in 
forming habits of any sort, lack of control of attention 
and, most important of all, absence of or great weakness 
in the capacity to think of elements or parts. This last 
is shown in their inability to dissociate or analyze or 
respond to anything other than a gross, total situation. 
Hence the abstract work of reading, arithmetic, science, 
grammar and the like is the hardest thing for them. 
They often can succeed with music and other technical 
arts and can retain concrete facts. The teacher's duty 
toward them when they cannot be given special education 
with those of their own kind, is unfailing sympathy and 
encouragement and a wise omission of the abstract work 
of the school. Enough reading and writing so that they 
may maintain their self-respect, enough arithmetic so that 
they may be able to use money intelligently, and for the 
rest some trade that may give them an honest living and 
some innocent pleasured which may give them worthy 
employment for their leisure — such should probably be 
the program for their education. 

Types of Imagery. — General psychology makes us 
familiar with the facts that the accuracy, vividness and 
completeness of mental images of any sort (visual, audi- 
tory, motor, and so forth) vary greatly with individuals, 
and that individuals may be classed according to their 
capacities for getting such images at will. On the basis 
of these facts it is frequently recommended that teachers 
make their appeal in the case of any pupil through that 
sense whose images are strongest, that, for example, the 
teacher should read to the 'audiles,' have the 'motiles' 
copy her statement and write on the blackboard for the 
'visualizers.' Plausible as this may seem, it is really 

90 The Principles of Teaching 

unwise. For in the first place, almost all pupils are of a 
mixed type, possessing each capacity to some degree. 
Hence the supposed audiles can use visual and motor 
images somewhat, and similarly for the supposed motiles 
and visualizers. In the second place the fact that a 
stimulus comes through one sense, say vision, does not 
imply that it will be remembered through an image of the 
same sense (here a visual image). The 'audile' or 
'motile' may see words on the blackboard but have them 
call up non-visual images. What sense avenue is most 
effective for any individual does not depend on what kind 
of imagery he has, but upon the condition of his sense 
organs and his habits of attention. Children who are 
notable visualizers may learn better from spoken than 
from written words. The author of this book almost 
never thinlcs in visual images, but learns most readily 
from visual percepts, i. e., printed words, pictures, maps, 

The wise course then is to arrange stimuli to appeal 
through several sense avenues, but to let the emphasis be 
on the kind of response of action or inference that the 
pupil makes, not upon the kind of imagery by means of 
which he proceeds to that response. 

It is also a mistake to insist that past experiences of 
facts must be stored up in clear images of things, that for 
instance a pupil who cannot picture to his mind's eye and 
ear a pine forest and the roar of the surf does not know 
the forest and beach. It seems at first thought as if 
images of things rather than of words must be essential 
to real knowledge of things and that the clearer and more 
vivid the image, the more useful the knowledge; but in 
fact an experienced lumberman or botanist may be 
unable to picture a forest at all and a worker on the coast 
survey or a lighthouse keeper may be unable to hear in 

Individual Differences 91 

imagination the sound he thoroughly well knows. A man 
may be an eminent artist whose visualizing power is 
almost niL One can sing a song perfectly which he 
cannot call up in auditory images. It is the ability to 
make right responses of thought, feeling and action that 
is the test of knowledge and appreciation. The essential 
for this is clear and vivid experiences, not images. It 
does not matter much whether the passage to the right 
response is through a clear or a hazy image, through 
images of things or images of words ; not the road taken 
but the destination, is the important thing. It does mat- 
ter somewhat, for images of things are often aids to 
knowledge and sources of much pleasure. The type of 
mind that thinks in verbal rather than thing images has 
however its advantages. It may feel things in memory 
less vividly, but it has facts about them in more con- 
venient shape. 

Although the cultivation of the capacities for imag- 
ing is hardly worth while, the methods commonly taken 
to cultivate them are for other reasons very useful. Thus 
it is an excellent exercise to have one pupil describe a 
tree that he has seen and let the others decide what kind 
of a tree it is. The value of such exercises does not, 
however, lie in the improvement of the capacity for 
imaging. In our illustration the boy who describes 
and the others who decide what is described may or may 
not base their conclusions on visual images. But they 
must, to describe clearly and to infer correctly from the 
description, know certain realities about trees. To ask 
a student, 'If you were a creature who could see clearly 
at a distance of two thousand miles and were hundreds 
of miles up in the air above St. Louis, what would be 
some of the important features that you would see to the 
west? To the east? To the north? To the south?'; 


92 The Principles of Teaching 

to say 'Suppose that you had Hved in IlHnois 200 years 
ago, how would the country have looked, what would you 
have seen the inhabitants doing ?' ; to say, 'Think now of 
just how the oak leaf and the chestnut leaf look so as to 
tell me the difference between them,' — these are useful 
exercises because right responses to them mean real 
knowledge, but it is of little consequence what sort of 
images arouse the responses. 

§ 22. Differences in Action 

Types of Will. — Children, like adults, differ greatly 
in the extent to wdiich some abstract quality of a situation 
can be made to connect with an act. Some children live 
almost wholly 'by special habits, not by general rules.* 
Tell them to use their rulers 'only in drawing figures 
which require accuracy' and they will ask you ten times 
an hour, 'Shall I use my ruler for this?' It has to be, 
'Use your rulers when you draw a map. Don't use them 
when you draw a mountain,' etc., etc. Tell them that 
they may speak to one another only when it is necessary 
and they will whisper on the most needless occasions or, 

if over-scrupulous, pester you with, 'Miss , is it 

necessary for me to ask Susie Gorovitz if she wants to 
look at my new paint box ?' and the like. Other children 
readily fit their acts to the abstract qualities of situations. 

Children in general are much less able than adults, 
and very much less able than an intellectual class of 
adults such as teachers, to act in response to abstract 
elements in situations. Hence the common error in 
teaching is to make instructions about behavior too gen- 
eral and abstract, and to refer failures to follow the 
instructions to neglect when they are really due to 

Individual Differences 93 

Allowance must be made in the case of those children 
whose wills verge toward the extreme impulsive type or 
toward the extreme pondering type. A teacher must not 
irritate the former by forever checking their natural 
tendency to jump at actions or the latter by hurrying 
them on to what seem to them impossibly hasty deci- 
sions. Too vigorous opposition to their natural bent will 
only make the one class confused and sulky and the other 
nervous and tearful. We must bring each toward the 
golden mean of action that is neither rash nor tardy by 
sympathetic and ingenious treatment. One or two con- 
crete examples of ways and means of so doing will illus- 
trate the right methods. Instead of saying, 'Wait'. 
Wait ! You don't know what you are about. What are 
you doing that for?', etc., to a pupil of the impulsive 
extreme, get him to agree to the simple rule that before 
he acts in any important situation he is to write on a bit 
of paper what he is going to do and why he is going to 
do it. At a later stage in his training have him write also 
why he is not going to do the opposite thing. At a still 
later stage have him write three or four things which 
might be done, the one he chooses, why he chooses to do 
it, and one reason for not doing each of the alternatives. 
Teach children of the pondering type to realize that often, 
when it is very, very hard to decide about an act, that very 
difficulty shows that it does not much matter which way 
one decides. Teach them that in very many cases the 
best course is to try one act and see how it results. 
'When in great doubt, do either or both' is a maxim 
which these pondering children are often quite willing to 
follow, and which soon improves greatly the power of 
prompt decision. It should be their guide in all unim- 
portant decisions and is not a bad rule for them even in 
really vital questions. 

94 The Principles of Teaching 

Suggestibility. — As with all other capacities there 
are wide differences between children in the degree of 
suggestibility. Ask Alary, 'Why is your work so poor 
to-day ? Have you a headache ?', and in a half hour Mary 
will be making more mistakes than ever and will have a 
headache whether she had one before or not. Ask Jane 
the same question in a similar situation and the reply is 

a prompt, 'No ! Miss . My head is all right. I just 

didn't study this much.' The means of allowing for and 
of utilizing these differences are either too obvious to 
need comment or so dependent on ingenuity rather than 
principle as to be learnable only through practice. 

§ 23. Differences in Temperament 

The Fundamental Temperaments. — Individuals may 
be graded into groups with respect to the speed, vigor 
and range of their mental processes on scales of quick to 
slow, intense to weak and broad to narrow. Teaching 
must of course make allowance for these differences. 
Some first-rate thinkers are puzzled and discouraged by 
rapid questions or drills. Some children think and feel 
so intensely that they need the bit of calmness, humor 
and relaxation rather than the spur of excitement or 
rebuke. Some children cannot think of more than one 
thing at a time and are lost in a lesson if the teacher 
introduces side issues or comparative references which 
the broader-minded child follows easily. 

The combination of slowness and weakness makes the 
lethargic temperament; the combination of intensity and 
narrowness makes the fanatic; the combination of weak- 
ness and breadth is often the basis of what we term 
superficiality. Of the traditional four temperaments, the 
sanguine aoproximates closely to the combination, quick- 

Individual Differences 95 

weak-broad; the choleric approximates closely to the 
combination, quick-intense-narrow; the phlegmatic is, of 
course, slow; the melancholic or sentimental is weak and 
commonly somewhat narrow and slow.^ 

Mental Balance.— Individuals may also be graded 
according to their mental balance, 'jheir ability to see 
things in proportion, to think and act with common sense. 
In little children these differences are not so obvious as 
they become during the high-school age. At that period 
it is easy to recognize the lack of mental balance shown 
in complaints about teachers, irregularity in school work, 
the presence of eccentric notions and inability to get on 
with parents. The lack of mental balance in parents 
themselves is, needless to say, one of the greatest obsta- 
cles in the teacher's path. 

The Sanguine and Suspicious Types. — A practically 
important series of differences in temperament concerns 
the qualities of hopefulness and suspicion. People, even 
as children, differ greatly in their expectation of success 
and satisfaction with what is, apart from any logical 
basis. Some always think their affairs are to turn out 
well, and think whatever they do or have or see is fine; 
their clothes always fit them, — mentally at least, — their 
lessons are always well done, — in their opinion ; nothing 
can disturb their imperturbable satisfaction. They verge 
toward the delusions of grandeur found in the insane. 
At the opposite extreme are those who always have a 
grudge ; who feel put upon, who are ready with a tale of 
injustice to them ; who are sure the world is a hard place. 
In school they are forever apologizing or sulking or com- 
plaining ; in perfect kindness they see some slight ; in 
perfect health they find some flaw. These verge toward 

* The traditional temperaments emphasize certain emotional dif- 
ferences, the phlegmatic being especially hard, and the melancholic 
or sentimental especially easy to excite emotionally. 

gS The Principles of Teaching 

the delusions of persecution of the insane. Both groups 
need to learn to judge objectively by facts, not sub- 
jectively by their feelings about them. The first class 
must be told, 'You may feel that that ie fine but nobody 
else thinks so ; you must do your work so that it will suit 
the standard of others as well as your own. You are 
right in not being discouraged, but you are wrong in not 
doing your work as well as it can be done.' The second 
class must be told, 'No doubt you feel badly about this; 
but that is only because you haven't looked at it in just 
the right way. Nobody is against you; your judgment 
tells you that you have had the same chance as everyone 
else. Follow your judgment, not your feelings. Act as 
if the world was good and just and you will help make it 


§ 24 Sex Differences 

In Type. — -The sexes differ in mental qualities, 
thought not so much perhaps as is generally thought to be 
the case. In instincts the great difference, apart from the 
special primary instincts of sex, is in the much greater 
strength of the fighting instinct, of impatience of restraint 
and of the instinct for mastery in the male and the greater 
strength of the nursing, fondling instinct and of the 
tendencies to relieve, comfort and console in the female. 
In capacities no great differences between the male and 
female types have been demonstrated. The most marked 
is the female superiority in the perceptive and retentive 
capacities ; girls, for instance, notice small details, remem- 
ber Hsts and spell better than boys. 

In Variability. — Although the male and female types 
are closely alike in intellectual capacities, there is an 
important difference in the deviations from the type in 

Individual Differences 97 

the two cases/ namely, that the males deviate more. The 
highest males in any quality are more gifted than any 
of the women, and the lowest males inferior to all women. 
Thus, though girls in general rank as high or higher 
than boys in high school and college, they less often lead 
the class; thus there are far more eminent intellects 
among men than among women and also twice as many 

Minor Differences.^ — ^In the amount and nature of 
their past experiences boys and girls differ, of course, 
in wa3^s too obvious to need mention. These differences 
are becoming less and less, however, in modern life 
which permits a girl to do almost everything which her 
brother does. Whether from native tendencies or from 
differences in the training of the sexes, girls are more 
subjective and personal, more given to judging a situation 
by its effect on their own feelings and affairs. They are, 
in the common meaning of the word, more emotional. 
They are somewhat neater and more accurate and some- 
what less active. Their range of information and per- 
haps of interests is narrower. They are said to be more 
indirect and more deceitful. They manifest the faults 
of violence and insubordination less often. 


In any mental quality children of the same age and 
sex or of the same school grade, differ greatly. The 
distribution of amounts of any quality is such that (i) 
all grades from the highest to the lowest are found and 
that (2) mediocre amounts of it are found far more often 
than others, that is, that individuals center about a certain 
typical condition of the quality. Hence small differences 
are far more common than large ones. 

* This difference is not absolutely proven to exist but it appears 
fairly certain from the results of several investigations. 

gS The Principles of Teaching 

Good teaching recognizes the variety of human nature, 

fits stimuli to individuals as far as possible, and, when 

that is not possible, chooses those stimuli which are for 

the greatest good of the greatest number or of the most 


In particular good teaching is careful to provide for 
the needs of children of action, to teach children of feel- 
ing to judge by facts and to turn their good feelings into 
good acts, to provide for and esteem the thing thinker 
and the concrete thinker, to allow for different types of 
will and to lead each of them toward a rational balance 
of action. 

§ 25. Exercises 

Experiment 8. Give to forty or more pupils of the 
same school grade, say the sixth, two or more of the fol- 
lowing tests : — 

a. To do as many of the examples in A as possible, 
making as few errors as possible. Time, 2 minutes. 


17 41 26 52 27 23 72 45 23 19 

42 52 51 86 24 72 14 67 47 78 

38 86 47 23 83 36 39 78 86 67 

91 23 82 35 19 68 81 37 54 23 

54 35 63 67 45 39 26 g6 2>6 ^ 



















































Individual Differences 


b. To spell the following words from dictation : — 



















































c. To write beside each word in list C. i a word 
meaning the opposite, 'meaning just what the word you 
see does not mean.' Time, 60 seconds; skipping to be 
allowed. Repeat the test using C. 2. 

C. I 












d. Read each of these sentences. If what it says is 
tr/ue, put an r after it. If what it says is false, put a 
w after it. Time, 15 minutes. 

1. If all children could learn their lessons without help 
there would be no use in having schools. 

2. Boys may eat a great deal and grow only a little, they 
may eat very little and grow a great deal. 































lOO The Principles of Teaching 

3. Growing richer, sometimes means growing unhappier. 

4. In the summer vacation we have a good time but wp 
don't learn anything. 

5. New York has become the largest city in the United States 
because it was settled so early. 

6. The reason why agriculture is more important than 
manufactures is that it is healthier to work on a farm than in 
a factory. 

7. It would be better to have all the gold and silver in the 
world disappear than to have all the iron disappear, 

8. The rates for passengers and freight from Cincinnati to 
New Orleans by boat ought to be cheaper than by train. 

9. If you add nine thirteens together you get 117. 

10. A man has $963 and needs 1500 dollars. He must get 

11. If I mix 8 quarts of water with 12 quarts of milk, forty 
fourths of the mixture will be milk. 

12. If I have to carpet a room which is 10 by 13 feet and 
have already a border a foot wide around it I must buy 12 square 
yards of carpet. 

Mark each addition paper by giving i for each half 
example done and 2 for each half example that is correct, 
or by any other reasonable method. 

Mark each spelling paper by giving i for each word 
spelled correctly. 

Mark each 'opposites' paper by giving i for each 
correct opposite, .5 for doubtful ones. 

Mark each 'logic' paper by giving i for each correct 
answer and taking off i for each sentence marked 

When the papers are scored, make out for each test a 
table showing how many children scored o ; how many, i ; 
how many, 2 ; how many, 3 ; how many, 4 ; and so on. 
Make also for each test a statement telling the average 
ability found, the ability found most frequently, the total 
range of ability found, the limits between which the 

Individual Differences loi 

abilities of about half of the children lie, the limits 
between which about three-fourths lie. 

Experiment p. Ask thirty or more individuals, boys 
and girls in their teens preferably, but adults if more 
convenient, to mark with a ( i ) the occupation which they 
like best of the ten below, with a (2) the one they like 
next best, and so on. Cases where the individual has not 
had enough experience of the thing in question to enable 
him to tell how well he would like it may be marked ( ?). 
How much agreement is there? 

Being present at a party. 

Eating a good dinner. 

Playing indoor games, such as games of cards. 

Playing outdoor games, such as baseball, basket ball, tennis. 

Working with tools, as in carpentering or gardening. 

Hearing music, as at a concert. 

Being present at the theatre. 

Reading a story. 

Resting, such as lying in a hammock or on a couch. 

Travelling or seeing new places. 

Write a brief account of the results of Experiments 8 
and 9, telling especially how they illustrate the statements 
of this chapter. 

1. Which would commonly be better, for all of a 
class to engage in a review, or for some to be given 
outside reading instead? 

2. Should all pupils engage in every recitation, or 
should some be given special 'seat-work' ? 

3. What would you suggest as language work for 
pupils whose habits are already perfect with respect to 
the usage that is being taught to the class in general ? 

4. What would you suggest as work during a read- 
ing lesson in Latin or German for those pupils who are 
sure to know how to translate the lesson very well? 
What would be the advantage in having them write out a 

102 The Principles of Teaching 

free translation in as good English as they could? In 
having them read and write a summary of some book or 
article about Roman life or German life? In giving 
them the time to use as they liked ? 

5. (a) What could probably be wisely omitted from 
the arithmetic work of say a seventh grade in the case of 
the pupils least gifted in arithmetic? (b) Answer the 
same question in the case of grammar for those least 
gifted in grammar, (c) In the case of algebra (in the 
first year of high school) for those least gifted in algebra. 

6. (a) Theoretically, should all pupils take the same 
studies? (b) Should all pupils do the same work in any 
one study? (c) When all are given the same work, 
should all be expected to reach the same degree of skill? 

7. Criticise the practice revealed in this school an- 
nouncement : *The diploma of the school is awarded to 
all those who have completed satisfactorily the entire 
course. Pupils will be excused from no part of it on 
account of sickness, accident, lack of earnestness or 
inability.' [23] 

8. *It is generally conceded by educators that all 
classification in schools should be based upon reading and 
arithmetic, the former in the lower grades, and the latter 
in all the more advanced classes.' [24] What is the 
objection to the common practice described in this quota- 
tion? State a method of classification for the grammar 
grades that would be theoretically better than that on the 
basis of arithmetic and equally practicable. 

9. Mention three or four ways in which you would 
vary your methods of teaching to make them fit a girl 
who was a child of feeling, with superior capacity to 
work with ideas, impulsive and suggestible. 

10. How would you vary them to fit a boy who wa3 

Individual Differences 103 

a child of action, with superior capacity to work with 
things ? 

11. How would you vary them to fit a boy who was 
a thinker, especially with ideas, quick and sanguine, with 
poor mental balance? 

12, Make a list of ten men and women whom you 
and some of your friends know well, say of ten fellow 

(a) Characterize each of them as a man (or woman) 
of action, of feeling or of conduct, and as thing thinker 
or idea thinker. 

(b) Rank the ten in each of the following traits : 
Capacity to act in response to partial aspects of 

Impulsiveness of will. 

Intensity. / 

Score the highest one of the ten i, the next highest 2, 
the next highest 3, the middle four M, the lowest 10, 
the next lowest 9, and the second from the lowest 8. A 
table like that given below will be convenient. 

Rank in 

Individual Partial Impulsive- Suggest- Quick- Intensity Breadth Hopeful- 
Activity ness ibility ness ness 









Unfortunately there can be no sure and easy veri- 

I04 The Principles of Teaching 

fication of the correctness of such judgments of character 
as these. It is interesting however to compare one's 
own judgments with the averages of the marks given by 
the four or five best judges of character in the class. 

13. How would you explain the fact that though 
girls have on the average as good intellects as boys, the 
latter do better at such intellectual games as chess and 
whist ? 

14. It is commonly said, and is probably true, that 
girls do not cooperate as well as boys. Bearmg in mind 
the qualities upon which cooperation depends, which sex 
difference of those mentioned might account for the fact ? 

15. How can it be that there are so many more great 
writers, inventors and scientists among men than among 
women if in average capacity the sexes are alike? 

16. Would you expect the most interesting pupils to 
be more frequently of the male or of the female sex? 

Experiment 10. With the help of friends or class- 
mates get from fifty or more teachers answers to these 
questions : 'What is the name of the most interesting 
pupil you ever had? What is the name of the brightest? 
What is the name of the worst (morally) ?' What is the 
result? Does it justify your expectation expressed in the 
answer to question 16? 

17. Are boys or girls the more likely to interpret a 
teacher's criticisms as the result of a grudge against them ? 

For Further Reading 

E. A. Kirkpatrick, Fundamentals of Child Study, Chapter 

J. Adams, Herhartian Psychology Applied to Education, 
Chapter IV. 

MacCunn, The Making of Character, Chapter III. 



Preparatory, Elements of Psychology, §§ 19 and 59 

§ 26. Instinct and Habit and Attention 

When and how a pupil attends is a matter of instinct 
and habit; there is no royal road to winning attention, 
but only the regular highway through the development 
of interest and the reward of acts of attention by some 
increment of satisfaction to the pupil. The principles of 
teaching with reference to attention are all implied in the 
chapter on interests and in a chapter to come on habit. 
There is no need to repeat them. Some corollaries of 
these principles may, however, be briefly mentioned. 

Inattention commonly means attention to something 
else; only rarely does a teacher have to struggle with 
general mental apathy, utter absence of focalized think- 
ing. The common battle is between the stimulus he gives 
and some competitor ; the teacher's task is to outbid some 
rival. Attention is not a quantity to be created, but a 
force to be directed. 

Attention is not secured by demanding it. The demand 
for attention avails only if, in the pupil's experience, 
obeying the demand has brought satisfaction or if dis- 
obeying it has brought discomfort. To demand atten- 
tion without soon arousing real interest will result in the 
connection, 'attention given when asked — a dull, unpleas- 
ant half-hour.' 


io6 The Principles of Teaching 

To gain attention is not to hold it. The former is 
comparatively easy and also comparatively unimportant. 
Although the habit of immediate response to whatever 
signals are used to attract attention should be firmly fixed, 
it is after all only a minor means to efficient v^ork. In 
fact, if a school day includes a long succession of devices 
to win back the attention of the pupils, it means a super- 
ficial ingenuity rather than fundamentally right methods 
of teaching. Steady attention through interests and the 
habit of work is the desideratum. 

It is not enough to simply have attention ; it must be 
attention to the right thing. As was said in Chapter V, 
a lecturer on the sequence of tenses can easily get the 
attention of his audience by telling a funny story, but the 
chances are ten to one that the attention will not be to 
the sequence of tenses. Showing pictures, relating anec- 
dotes, playing games and the like may even, if used 
carelessly, distract attention from its proper object. To 
get attention but to something other than the fact to be 
learned or act to be done is as bad as to have a pupil 
remember but remember the wrong answer. 

One means to secure attention is to secure its physical 
attitude. If sitting up straight and looking at the teacher 
has gone with attention oftener than has lolling back and 
wriggling, then the attention of a lolling class can be 
improved by having them sit up straight. If we need to 
study a book, we can at least open it and look at the 
words. Interest may come then which would fail to 
come so long as we sat thinking, T ought to study that 
lesson.' Teachers need to remember, however, that atten- 
tion as measured by results and not some special bodily 
attitude is the essential. Efficient attention is possible 
with all sorts of bodily attitudes, and on the other hand 

Attention 107 

children readily learn to mimic the postures of attention, 
without having the reality. 

§ 27. Exercises 

Clearness, intensity, novelty (but with sufficient 
famiHarity to be grasped), pleasurableness and expected- 
ness are qualities which in and of themselves attract 
attention to the stimulus possessing them. 

1. Of these six qualities, which is always desirable as 
a feature of the stimuli given by a teacher ? 

2. Which two lose their effect with use? 

3. Which offers an argument for stating the aim of 
each lesson? 

4. Which explains why a rough drawing is often 
preferable to an expensive picture or map? 

5. What is the objection to the following method of 
securing attention? 

'The pupil reads until the teacher says, "next," when 
the next in turn commences at the exact word (or part 
of a word) where the former ceased, or forfeits his place 
in the class.' [25] 

6. What is the objection to repeating a question? 

7. Compare the two spelling lessons below with 
respect to their efficiency in securing attention to the 

















The sky Is blue. The wind blew, 

Ships sail on the sea. You see with 
your eyes. 

io8 The Principles of Teaching 

their there He gave them their books. He 

went there to-day. 
knew new The girl knew the lesson. Put on 

your new hat. 
to two too He went to school with his two 

brothers. His sister went too. 

8. What would be the advantage of giving also as 
models or as sentences to be written? 

Red, blue and green are common colors. 
He has his book, her book and your book. 
Fred and Mary have their books. 
Where is he ? Is he here ? No ! He is there. 

9. Recitations are often so conducted that if a 
scholar already knows his lesson he gains nothing from 
the recitation. What is the result? 

10. If a scholar regards reciting as primarily a means 
of testing the knowledge of the one reciting, how often 
will he attend during the recitation ? 

11. What would you do to make attention to the 
answers of other pupils bring 'some increment of satis- 
faction to each pupil'? 

12. How would arranging with parents for the pro- 
vision of a separate room for study ( or at least a corner 
with table and lamp) improve the home work of pupils? 

13. What would be the effect upon pupil's attention 
of peculiarities of appearance, dress and manners in the 
teacher ? 

Experiment 11. Turn over twenty or twenty-five 
pages of the advertising section of a magazine rapidly. 
Record the things which caught your attention by record- 
ing those which you remember. Use an English maga- 
zine so as not to measure knowledge rather than attention. 
Have two or more children do likewise (the more, the 
better). How do your records illustrate the facts stated 

Attention 109 

in the first paragraph of this section? How do they 
ilkistrate the nature of children's interests? 

For Further Reading 

W. James, Talks to I'eachers on Fsychology, Chapter X. 
J. Adams, Hcrbartian Psychology Applied to Education, 
Chapter VI. 


Principles of Association 
Preparatory, Elements of Psychology, §§ 43-50 

§ 28. Habit Formation 

The general law of association answered the question, 
'How may the teacher choose stimuli that will produce 
the desired present response ?', by the principle of apper- 
ception. The same law answers the question, 'How may 
the teacher arrange stimuli, so as to insure right 
responses in the future?', by the principles of habit 

It is a fundamental law of mental life that if a mental 
state or bodily act is made to follow or accompany a 
certain situation with resulting satisfaction it will tend to 
go with that situation in the future. The applications 
of the law to teaching are comprised in the simple and 
obvious, but too commonly neglected rules. Put together 
what you wish to have go together. Rezvard good 
impulses. Conversely ; Keep apart zvhat you wish to have 
separate. Let undesirable impulses bring discomfort. 

Obvious as these rules are to the student of human 
nature, they are constantly violated. For instance, the 
commonest school punishment of the writer's school- 
days was to keep pupils in school over-time, thus putting 
the idea of punishment, of undesirability, into closest 
connection with the experience of school and school work. 


Principles of Association iii 

The old methods of teaching reading connected the sight 
of the letters with the sounds of their names, bad being 
thus put with bee ay dee and dog with dee oh gee. The 
writer was taught in Latin to connect amahat only with 
amahom, amabas in front of it and amahamus, amahatis 
after it. What wonder that it did not call up in his 
mind 'he was loving' ! 

Still more flagrant are the violations of the law. 
Reward good impulses. The mother neglects her chil- 
dren when they are quiet and decent and plays with them 
only when they cry. Consequently there are many crying 
babies. The child is refused a favor when he asks once, 
but if he teases a score of times it is finally granted. 
Consequently there are many teasing boys. 

The mind does not gravitate toward truth, wisdom 
and goodness of its own accord. What it does is to keep 
together those ideas, feelings and acts which it experi- 
ences together and with resulting satisfaction. If a 
situation is to call up its proper response, that response 
should be put with that situation in the individual's 
experience. The mind does not do something for noth- 
ing. If it is to drop one tendency and cherish another, 
the latter must be made the more satisfying. To get 
habits we must make them and reward them. Put 
together zvhat you wish to have go together. Rezvard 
good impulses. 

As in the case of apperception, the principle of habit 
formation is fully treated in dynamic psychology. All 
that is required here is training in its special applications 
through appropriate exercises. I venture, however, to 
remind the reader that the general law of association 
applies to every form of connection, to connections of 
impression and expression as well as to connections 
between one idea and another. Hence the laws of teach- 

112 The Principles of Teaching 

ing derived from it apply to sense-training, observation, 
attention, bodily skill, behavior, morality, emotional 
responses, aesthetic appreciation, interests and ideals as 
well as to memory and thought. 

§ 29. Exercises 

1. Why do little children give such definitions as the 
following ? 

A lunch is when you go to the woods. 
Coffee is what old folks drink. 

2. Why do they define an object by its use far oftener 
than by its structure? 

3. Do you believe the following? A boy in reciting 
said, 'The sailor was sorry that he done it.' The teacher 
said, 'What are the principal parts of to dof The boy 
said, 'Do, did, done.' 

4. In what connection does a pupil need to feel 
*came' rather than 'comed' 'brought' rather than 'bringed' 
or 'brang,' and the like ? How would you teach the prin- 
cipal parts of verbs ? 

5. Name one advantage which written work has over 
oral as a method of learning spelling. 

6. Which of these four procedures is the best ? Why ? 

(a) A teacher prints a, b, c, d, e, etc., on the board 
and, pointing at each in turn, gives the name, — ay, bee, 
see, dee, eee, eff, etc. 

(b) A teacher prints red on the board, and, pointing 
at each letter in turn, says, 'arr, ee, dee, red.' 

(c) A teacher prints 'red' on the board and, pointing 
at it, says, 'red.' 

(d) A teacher calls attention to a maple leaf that has 
turned and savs, 'What color is this leaf?' The answer 

Principles of Association 113 

being given, she says, 1 will say its color with the chalk/ 
and saying, This leaf is,' — prints or writes, 'red.' 

7. Should the beginner in Latin learn adjectives as 
in (a) or as in (b) or as in (c) ? 




bonus a urn 


vir bonus 

boni ae i 


viri boni 





• • 

puella bona 
puellae bonae, 

8. What connections of impression are made in the 
following exercises in correcting misspellings ? 

"i. Nolledje is the best foundashun ov happenes. 
It distingwishes sivilized from savidje life. Its kulteva- 
shun in yuth promotes vertshu, bi kreating habits ov 
menttal disseplin; and bi inkulkating a sense ov morral 

2. Man is an anemal endoued with pouers ov kom- 
munikashun, memmury, assosheashun, immetashun, re- 
fleckshun, and rezoning; talents given him bi hiz Makur; 
for the good use ov witsh, he is akkountabel in a futshure 

3. Man, in his unimprooved and unsivilized kondi- 
shun is naked, without habetashun, without menes ov 
defense or offense, and pozzessed ov no menes ov sub- 
sistense, besidez the wild froots and spontaneus prodduse 
ov the erth. 

4. Menny nashuns, evn now, liv nakid in kavurns 
undur ground, purform no labur, and depend for thare 
subsistense on the spontaneus produkts ov the erth, and 
on the flesh ov anemals, witsh tha destroy bi simple 

5. The oridjenal mhabittants ov the Amerikan kon- 

114 The Principles of Teaching 

tenent lived nakid, paneted thare boddys ov vareus 
kullurs, bestoed littel or no kultevashun on the soil, and 
depended for subsistense on akorns, berres, and roots, 
and uppon thare skil and sukses in hunting and fishing." 


'"Tis the last rose of sumer left bloomin alone, 
All its lovly compannions are faded and gone; 
No flour of its kindrid, no rosebud is nye, 
To reftlect back its blushes and return sie for sie. 
I'll not leeve thee, thou loan one, to pyne on the stemm, 
Sinse the lovly are sleaping, go sleap thou with them. 
Thus kindly I skatter thy leafs o'er the bead, 
Where thy mates of the garden lye senceless and ded." 


9. How would you modify the statement, 'Practice 
makes perfect'? 

10. (a) Name two or three school punishments 
which put the feeling of undesirability with things with 
which teachers should not wish it to go. (b) In what 
cases may neglect of a pupil's bad behavior be a better 
deterrent than a rebuke? 

11. Give three or four illustrations from home or 
school life of training that rewards actually bad impulses. 

12. What habit is formed by echo questions, such 
as, 'Washington was at Valley Forge. Where was 
Washington ?' 'The citizens rose in their might and con- 
quered the invader. What did the citizens do?' 

13. Justify the following recommendations on the 
basis of the law of habit-formation : — 

Make no rules that you cannot enforce. 
Make no laws, infringements of which you can- 
not detect. 

14. Suppose that after the events related in the fol- 
lowing some one had asked the girl if she would like to 
go to heaven where she could look at God, how would 
she have felt? 

Principles of Association 115 

Wanting to See God. 

"One day Clara and Willy went with their mother to 
walk in the fields. They were much pleased to see the 
pretty flowers and to hear the birds sing. *Oh,' said 
Willy, 'how great God is! He must be very lovely, 
How I would like to see him!' 'And so would I,' said 
Clara, if it were only for half a minute.' ' I am afraid,' 
said their mother, 'You could not look at Him. He is so 
bright, you could not bear the sight.' *Oh,' said Willy, 
'we like to look at things that are bright. Mama, please 
do let us see God.' 'Well,' said their mother, 'now look 
at the sun for half a minute and tell me what you see.' 
Their eyes followed their mother's finger as she pointed 
to the sun, which was just breaking through the clouds. 
'Oh, oh,' they both cried, 'it hurts our eyes ; it dazzles us 
so, we cannot look at it.' 'Well,' said their mother, 'the 
glory of God is so great, that in His presence the sun 
would seem dark. But if you are good and love Him, 
you will one day see Him and be happy with Him in 
heaven.' " [28] 

15. What should be connected with the sight of a 
letter of the alphabet? 

16. Which is the more necessary connection with the 
sight of a word, its sound or its meaning? 

17. Which general feeling do we wish to have con- 
nected with reading lessons in the scholar's mind, that 
printed and written words are 'things to be said when you 
see them' or 'things that tell you something' ? 

18. Name two or more advantages of the following 
method for the first few weeks in reading: — ^ 

Large cards are arranged with The door, A window, 
The table, A book, Fred, Dan and other names of the 
children in the class, walks, runs, stands still and the like 
printed or written on them in large letters. 

The teacher says, 'This is Fred, so we will put a card 

* Recall the principles of instinct and interest as well as those of 
habit formation. 

ii6 The Principles of Teaching 

on him that says Fred so that we will all know. I am the 
teacher and this card says 'Teacher,' fastening it to her 
dress. 'Would you like a card that tells your name, 
Dan? All right, here is Dan's name,' fastening it to 
Dan. (And so on through all or part of the class.) 
'Mary and Alice and Fred may stand here with me.' 
Pointing to Mary's label, 'What does this say ?' Similarly 
with Alice, Fred and teacher. Then, taking ofif the four 
cards and standing them up before the class. 'Mary, can 
you find your card? Alice, find yours. Fred, please 
bring me mine. Whose card is this?' (taking the one 
left). Putting the cards back in a row before the class, 
'Henry may put Dan's card on Dan. Who can put 
Mary's card on Mary? Nellie may. We will let Fred 
get his own. Get yours, Fred. What does this one say ?' 
(taking the one left). 

'Shall we give the table a card ? Isaac may hang the 
table's card on the front of the table. It says. The table. 
This says, The door. Where shall we put it? Yes, you 
may, Lawrence. What else in the room shall have a 
card with its name on it? Yes, the picture-book can 
have one. This says, a hook. Stand it up by the book, 
Mary Dorgan. Who can find the card that says, the 
lahlef Bring it to me.' Ditto with the door, a hook. 
Standing the cards for teacher, Fred, Mary, Alice, the 
tahle, the door, and a hook in a row, the children are 
allowed to find the one that says teacher, etc. 

19. If you accept the principle that in the first month 
of reading, direct connections should be made between 
the sight of the words and realities, how would you teach 
such words as runs, run, stands still, stand stillf 

20. How would you teach on, in, around? 

21. In using printed cards in the way just described, 
what would be the gain of leaving each card fastened to 

Principles of Association 117 

its object in the interval between one reading lesson and 
another ? 

22. If every person in a family always wore his 
name, if the furniture, the utensils and toys of the house 
were all clearly labelled and a child was rewarded for 
every chance attention to and recognition of the labels, 
wl^at would happen? 

23. What is the reward for reading in ordinary life? 

24. What objection is there to telling the story to a 
class before they read it ? 

25. What advantage might there be in having the 
children ask in writing for the little favors which they 

26. When a child learns to say off one, two, three, 
four, -five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, just what con- 
nections are formed? 

27. What connections are formed when he learns to 
count by pointing at each one of a group of objects in 
order and saying one, two, three, four, and so on as he 
points ? 

28. What undesired connection may be formed when 
the teacher, after displaying four leaves and asking, 'How 
many?', takes another leaf, puts it with the four, saying, 
*How many now ?', and elicits the answer, *Five' ? 

29. Which of the charts reproduced in Figs. 9 and 
10 would you prefer to use in teaching beginning arith- 
metic ? Why ? 

30. The application of arithmetical principles ought 
of course to be conected with problems of actual 
experience both in order to waste no effort and in order 
to strengthen the connection 'arithmetic — of real use in 
the world/ Replace each of the following by a better 
problem which gives the same drill but does not violate 
the principle Just stated. 

Ii8 The Principles of Teaching 

a. 'Bought \ oi 2i box of candles, and having used 
^ of them, sold the remainder for ^| of a dollar: how 
much would a box cost at the same rate? Ans. $5tI** 


I 2 ? 4 <; 6 


4 S 6 

+ =8= + 


1234 5 6 

D D DD DD DDn □nnn 

n D DD dd'-' D d'-' 

1234 s 6 






1 1 








Fig. 9, 

I 2 



Fig. 10. 

b. 'Allowing that 4 persons can stand on one square 
rod, how many persons can stand on one acre?' [30] 

c. 'Divide a quantity of tea weighing 51 lbs. i oz. 
amongst a man, a woman and a boy, giving the man 
twice the woman's share, and the woman thrice the boy's 
share.' [31] 

Principles of Association 119 

d. *A man had nine dozen eggs in a basket. He 
sold one shilling's worth at a half-penny each; then six- 
penny worth at four for three pence. He put 2^ fresh 
eggs into his basket and sold four score; a dozen and a 
half got broken. How many eggs had he left at last?' 


31. An eminent student of teaching, Mr. Adams of 
London, is quoted as objecting strongly to the practice, 
common amongst men teachers in England, of wearing 
black clothes in the school-room. How might he support 
his criticism? 

32. In what places does this lesson put together 
things which do not logically go together? 


What is this? 

The dog. 

For what is the dog useful? 

He is a faithful servant to man; and, as he is per- 
mitted to accompany him, he feels proud ; and, above all 
other animals, he is useful to defend his master's person 
and property. 

Does the dog know more than most other animals ? 

He does; he loves and obeys his master, and always 
does as he is bid. [33] 

33. (a) If a marksman never saw where his shots 
hit, how rapidly would his aim improve? (b) If exami- 
nations are given, should the pupil be told his degree of 
success? (c) How can this be done without encouraging 
too much attention to a pupil's success compared with 
that of others in the same class? (d) Should his papers 
be returned to him? (e) Should only kis errors be 
commented on? 

34. Apply the facts of the law of association to 
teaching irregular plurals. 

35. To teaching the conjugations in Latin. 

I20 The Principles of Teaching 

36. To teaching dates in history. 

37. Should the tables in arithmetic be built up 
gradually from knowledge gained elsewhere of the 
individual associations which they contain or be given 
once and for all as a total orderly system? Why? 

38. Into what units would you divide a dictation in 
reading it to a class? Would you, for instance, give one 
word at a time or four words at a time? Mark the 
places where you would make pauses in dictating (A) to 
a third-year class and in dictating (B) to a seventh-year 

(A) A shepherd saw that a wolf had, for many days, 
been near his sheep. The wolf had in no way tried to 
kill any of them. But the shepherd did not like to see a 
wolf near by. 

(B) To the Boys of America. 

"Of course what we have a right to expect from the 
American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good 
American man. Now, the chances are strong that he 
won't be much of a man unless he is a good deal of a 
boy. He must not be a coward or a weakling, a bully, a 
shirk or a prig. He must work hard and play hard. He 
must be clean-minded and clean-lived, and able to hold 
his own under all circumstances and against all comers. 
It is only on these conditions that he will grow into the 
kind of a man of whom America can really be proud. 
In life, as in a football game the principle to follow is : 
Hit the line hard ; don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the 
line hard." [34] 

39. Does or does not the connection between the 
thought of a situation and the thought of an act imply 
that when the thought appears the act will be made ? 

40. Does or does not the connection between an idea 

Principles of Assocmtion 12 1 

of an event and an idea of a certain emotion imply that 
when the event takes place, the emotion will be felt? 

41. If you wish to be sure that whenever the alarm- 
clock rings you will always get out of bed, what must you 

42. What do your answers to questions 39, 40 and 
41 suggest about moral training? 

43. James gives as rules for making habits the fol- 
lowing: ''We must take care to launch ourselves with 
as strong and decided an initiative as possible. Never 
suffer an exception to occur till the new habit is securely 
rooted in your life. Seize the very first possible oppor- 
tunity to act on every resolution you make, and on every 
emotional prompting you may experience in the direction 
of the habits you aspire to gain." [35] 

Illustrate these rules in the case of forming the habit 
of punctuality. 

44. Give two cases where the right and the wrong 
habits are equally or nearly equally easy to form. 

45. Which is much more important in such cases, 
the starting of the habit or the same amount of training 

46. What do your answers to questions 44 and 45 
suggest (a) concerning the first steps in learning the 
pronunciation of a foreign language? (b) Concerning 
the quality of the voice of teachers in primary schools? 

47. What danger is to a considerable extent avoided 
by arranging a series of easy propositions for the begin- 
ning of a course in geometry and requiring them to be 
done as originals? 

48. The capacity to break away from one habitual 
series of connections, to do things In an unfamiliar way, 
IS important; mere machine-like performance of certain 
acts IS deadening. Hence some teachers infer that to 

122 The Principles of Teaching 

make any connection perfect through practice arrests the 
development of originaHty. Give evidence that it is, on 
the contrary, a better preventive of deadening routine to 
make connections sure but to make many of them, than 
to give little drill on any. 

49. What additions should then be made to the fol- 
lowing statements to make them valid? The passing of 
papers, pens, books and the like should be done as the 
result of mechanical habit, but — 

50. Knowledge of the arithmetical tables should be 
made into perfect habits, but these habits must be — 

Experiment 12. Give to a third grade test A, starting 
all the pupils at the same time and stopping them the 
moment any one finishes. A day or so later give test B, 
allowing the same time as for A. Compare the number 
of examples done correctly in the two cases. Explain 
the differences. 


1. Divide by 6 the number 36. 

2. What number divided by 3 will give 11? 

3. What number must be added to 42 to make 85 ? 

4. From what number must 28 be taken to leave 59? 


1. Divide 28 by 4. 

2. How much is 12 times 4? 

3. Subtract 24 from 58. 

4. Add 82 and 95. 

Experiment jj. Teach one or more first grade or 
kindergarten children the combinations, three and two 
are Hve, three and four are seven, three and Hve are 
eight, three and six are nine, without giving them any 
statements about two and three, four and three, five and 
three or six and three. After the three and two, three 
and four, etc., are well mastered, test each child with the 

Principles of Association 123 

combinations, asking now for three and five, now for six 
and three and so on with a mixture of both orders. To 
which order are the responses more often correct? 

§ 30. Memory 

Associative memory, memories of facts in their con- 
nections, is what memory means in discussions of teach- 
ing. Such memories are simply habits due to the 
general law of association or connection- forming ; the 
principles of teaching so as to secure such memories 
quickly, surely and permanently are results of the gen- 
eral law as applied to those connections between word 
and meaning, thing and name, numbers and their sum, 
event and date, one line of a poem and the next, name of 
law and detailed statement of law and the like, which 
we think of under the term, memory. If one thing is 
to call another to mind, the second must be connected 
with the first often or energetically and the pupil must 
be rewarded for connecting them. If facts are to call 
others to mind when they are needed, the connections 
must be arranged in useful systems. 

As a rule it is more economical to put things together 
energetically than to put them together often; close 
attention is better than repetition. The active recall of 
a fact from within is, as a rule, better than its impres- 
sion from without ; for recall is a helpful way to be sure 
of close attention and also forms the connection in the 
way in which it will later be required to act. Further- 
more, if children are taught to memorize by recall, they 
are saved from wasting time in reading over and over or 
studying at length facts which they have already com- 
mitted to me^^pry. In memorizing by recall one not 
only knows a fact ; he also knows when he knows It. 

124 The Principles of Teaching 

It is fashionable nowadays to decry memory as a sort 
of cheap slavey of the intellect, a 'skeleton in the closet' 
of teaching, not fit to be mentioned in the polite society 
of apperception, interest, reasoning and the rest. In the 
laudable effort to cure school work of the error of trust- 
ing everything to verbal memory, writers on teaching 
have made the mistake of the surgeon who cured a 
sprained ankle by cutting off the leg. ^ 

Indeed the trouble was not with memory, but with 
what was remembered, — words only. We surely must 
not cut a man's legs off, because he walks into danger on 
them ! If a fact is understood, the better it is remem- 
bered, the better off we are. It does little good to 
explain a process so skillfully as to make it perfectly 
understood, if the explanation has to be repeated again 
the next week or day. Moreover there is and probably 
always will be in school work a great bulk of fact which 
pupils can understand without any difficulty, but which 
can be made their permanent possession only by definite 

§ 31. Exercises 

There are three common ways of memorizing, by 
repetition, concentration, and recall. 

1. Which is the one commonly used by children? 

2. Which is the one commonly advocated by 
teachers ? 

3. Which is the best? Why? 

4. Ebbinghaus found that it took sixteen repetitions 
to learn a series of twelve nonsense syllables, and fifty- 
five repetitions to learn a series of tweny-six. What 
sugestion would you get from this concerning mem- 
orizing poems, model sentences, quotations, etc. ? 

5. Miss Aiken found that a poem could be best 

Principles of Associafioji 125 

learned by first learning a skeleton of the leading words, 
verbs, etc. What suggestion would you g^t from this 
concerning learning about a period in history or a topic 
in geography? 

6. Just what was the fault of the method of teach- 
ing represented by the following announcement of the 
work of the junior class in a New England school in 

"From nine, to about ten o'clock. 
Junior Class. — The pupils are occupied in writing on 
their slates prepared copies, or paragraphs from the 
orthographical exercises, or the lesson previously com- 
mitted to memory in Grammar or Geography. 
From ten, to about eleven o'clock. 
The pupils are occupied in pronouncing and spelling 
three columns of words with the book, very distinctly, 
four times. After which, they read in Murray's Reader 
(the first and second parts alternately). 

From eleven, to twelve o'clock. 
The pupils are occupied in writing a copy. After 
which, they commit to memory a lesson in Grammar or 
Geography, and the spelling already enunciated. Before 
they are dismissed, they are required to recite the same 
distinctly and accurately. 

From two, to about three o'clock. 
The pupils are occupied in spelling as in the morning. 
After which, they read in the Bible or New Testament. 
From three, to about four o'clock. 
The pupils are occupied in ciphering. 
From four, to five o'clock. 
The pupils are occupied in writing a copy. After 
which (if a sufficient portion of ciphering is completed), 
they commit to memory the spelling already enunciated, 
and before they are dismissed, they are required to recite 
the same distinctly and accurately." [36] 

7. "No invention of man has as yet been able to 
supersede the pen as the primary exponent of thought, 
and its use, instead of being confined to the few, as in 

126 The Principles of Teaching 

time past, is now essayed to be taught to every individual. 

Upon it rests the whole superstructure of commerce 
and literature, while it furnishes the readiest and most 
reliable means for correspondence of every kind. 

Has any invention of man been able as yet to dis- 
pense with the pen? What is said of its universal use? 
What rests upon the use of the pen?" [37] 

What is the relation between the type of questions 
given above and the following type of answer: 'Com- 
merce and manufactures is the governor of the state 
and George Wolf the occupation of the people of 

8. Which of the following questions encourage mere 
verbal memory? 

9. Which of them encourage guessing at the expense 
of inference or frank confession of ignorance? 

10. Which of them form associations meaningless 
outside of the lesson-hour at the expense of really valua- 
ble connections? 

11. Which of them form associations which are 
actually harmful ? 

a. What of the Atlantic? 

b. What of Queen Isabella? 

c. What had Christopher Columbus done ? 

d. Might a war have resulted from this? 

e. What preparations were made? (The text 
with which this question goes reads, They even 
made preparations to resist by force of arms.') 

f. What do they take up in church after the 
prayer (asked in the course of an effort to 
explain, *Any collection of units is expressed 
by a whole number') ? 

g. What will soon be seen? 

h. Was this successful? (The assault on Peters- 
burg, of June, 1864.) 

Principles of Association 127 

i. Has his example been followed? 
j. Who dragged whom around the walls of 
what city? 
k. The text reading, *Glass is transparent/ the 
question is asked, 'Why can you see through 
glass V 
1. What did the English still do? 
m. The text reading, 'Everybody in the colony 
had been talking of the independence of the 
colonies,' the question is put, 'What had the 
people been talking of? 
n. What proposal was made and by whom? 
o. Was the offer accepted? 
12. In the light of the classification just made, (a) 
state an objection to using the words of a text-book in 
framing a question about its subject-matter, (b) State 
also a risk incurred in asking any question which has 
meaning only in a particular context. 

§ 32. Correlation 

Just as the business of teaching is not only to impart 
ideas but also to connect them with one another in useful 
habits of thought, so also its business is not to stop at a 
multitude of single habits unconnected with each other^ 
but to connect these again into useful systems with use- 
ful cross-connections between systems. Just as one idea 
should be related to another with which it ought to go, 
so one series of connected ideas should be related to 
others with which it ought to go. 

The group of mental connections which we call 
knowledge of percentage should connect with the group 
which we call knowledge of decimal fractions on the one 
hand and with the group which we call knowledge of 

128 The Principles of Teaching 

interest on the other. Knowledge of the cHmate of 
Central America should connect with knowledge of the 
general facts about Central America's latitude, elevation, 
prevailing winds and the like, with knowledge of the gen- 
eral laws of cHmate and w4th knowledge of the manner of 
life of the inhabitants of Central America. The problems 
of high-school physics should connect with knowledge of 
algebra as well as with knowledge of certain physical laws. 

The principle that knowledge should be not a mul- 
titude of isolated connections, but well-ordered groups 
of connections, related to each other in useful ways, — 
should not be a hodge-podge of information, but a well- 
ordered system whose inner relationships correspond to 
those of the real world, — is called the principle of Cor- 
relation. It implies that lesson and lesson be brought 
into relations one with another in a larger unit of some 
one general topic, that one topic be brought into rela- 
tions with another in a still larger unit, and that one 
subject of study be taught with reference to the other 
subjects whenever the facts they present have important 
bearings one upon the other in the real world. 

The method of securing such organized, related sys- 
tems of connections is simply by making use of the 
general law of association. If the pupil is to have facts 
together in useful systems, the teacher must put them 
together. If in the future the pupil is to think of the 
relations of a fact when he thinks of the fact, he must in 
the present connect that fact with those relations. 

The commonest means of securing this connection 
between a fact and its relations is to teach them at the 
same time, e. g., to teach the arithmetic of latitude and 
longitude in the same month in which the geography of 
latitude and longitude is tausfht. This is an excellent 
means, but it is not always the best and is often very hard 

Principles of Association 129 

to arrange without conflict with other desirable features 
of teaching. Thus it is not the best in the case of per- 
centage and interest and cannot be arranged in the case 
of English grammar, Latin grammar and German 
grammar without overtaxing the capacity of high-schooi 

Teaching the two things to be related at the same 
time is in fact not the essential in correlation, but only 
one means. The essential is that the two be related in 
the pttpiVs mind. One may be taught five years after 
the other, but if its relations with the other are then made 
a part of the pupil's mental equipment all may be well. 
One may be taught by one teacher and the other by 
another teacher, but if each teacher makes the necessary 
cross-connections, the two systems of connections in the 
pupil's mind will henceforth cooperate. 

The chief dangers to be avoided in teaching relation- 
ships are: (i) such an infatuation with the doctrine of 
correlation as leads one to waste time in teaching rela- 
tionships so obvious that a pupil is sure to make them for 
himself or so trivial that they are not worth the making, 
and (2) such ignorance or carelessness as leads one to 
teach relationships that are false or artificial. It is as 
bad or even worse to teach a useless relationship as a 
useless fact, a false relationship as a false fact. 

§ 33. Exercises 

1. To what extent would you relate arithmetic and 
manual training? 

2. To what extent would you relate arithmetic and 
elementary science? 

3. To what extent would you relate English history 
and English literature (in the high school) ? 


130 The Principles of Teaching 

4. To what extent would you relate the study of 
the Latin language and the study of Roman Hfe? 

5. To what extent would you relate English com- 
position and chemistry (in the high school) ? 

6. Give two cases of important relationships (a) 
between the history of the United States and its geog- 
raphy, (b) Between the United States constitution and 
United States history, (c) Between drawing and other 
elementary-school subjects, (d) Between high-school 
mathematics and high-school science. 

7. In which of the following cases should a teacher 
specially relate the two members of the pair? In which 
cases is it not worth while to do so? 

a. The Latm civilis and the English civil. 

b. The Latin pecns and pecunia. 

c. The German Vaterland and the English fath* 

d. Decimal fractions and the metric system. 

e. Addition or subtraction and the study of the 

f. The growth of seeds and moral lessons on 
patience and persistence. 

g. The climate of Central America and the dress 
of its inhabitants. 

8. In the case of each of the relationships not worth 
teaching state whether the cause is (a) that the relation 
is sure to be learned anyway or (b) that it is too trivial 
to spend time on or (c) that it is false 

9. (a) State a just objection to each one of the 
practices described below, (b) State also some com- 
pensating (or partially compensating) advantage of the 
practice, where such exists. 

a. Relating all the work of a class during Decem- 
ber to the topic, Christmas. 

Principles of Association 131 

b. Teaching pronunciation, definitions, usages of 
language, spelling and the like in connection 
with the reading of literature. 

c. Teaching composition in connection with lit- 
erature, that is, having pupils write about the 
books they read. 

d. Correlating all the work in music with history, 
that is, teaching children to sing Indian songs 
when they are studying the settling of America ; 
teaching them to sing hymns when they are 
studying the Pilgrim fathers, and the like. 

e. Putting words of one sort together in each 
spelling lesson as in the following^ : — 

"Rule — Nouns ending in Y with a vowel before it, 
form the plural by adding S without changing the Y ; as 
Key, Keys. 

Henry VIIL abolished abbies and convents. The 
viceroies were attended by countless lackles. The jockies 
could not manage the donkies. The larder displays 
turkies and geese. Criminals m France are confined in 
a sort of public vessels called gallies. The vallies are 
overflowed. The public monies are nowhere safe from 
peculation. It is the custom to fire several vollies over 
the grave of a soldier. The kidnies are among the lower 
viscera. Chimnies are seldom seen in hot climates. A 
king of Enq-land died of excess in eatmg lamprles." [38] 

"CH as^K. 

Tecknical words are those peculiar to the arts and 
sciences. He was placed in a new sepulcre. A chymera 
is a creature of the imagination. A hemistick is half a 
line of poetry. Mineral waters containing Iron are 
called calibeate. The camelion is a reptile of the lizard 
^enus. The first point in chvro^raphy or penmanship, 
should be distinctness. Concology treats of shells. Any 
instrument that measures time is a cronometer. An 
anacronism is the placing of an event at a wrong date. 
Sinecdoche is a figure of speech." [39] 

* These lessons are designed, of course, to teach the pupil spelling 
by having him correct the misspellings. 

i;^2 The Principles of Teaching 

f. Relating spelling to object lessons as suggested 
by this quotation : 
^Lessons in spelling may frequently be made from ob- 
jects, by taking the name of an object, the names of its 
parts, words denoting the uses of the object, and, other 
words suggested by the uses of the object, and other 
words suggested by the object or associated with it.' [40] 

For Further Reading 

W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, Chapters VIII, 
IX and XII. 

J. Adams, Herbartian PsycJwlogy Applied to Education, 
Chapter VII. 


The Principles of Analysis 

Preparatory, Elements of Psychology, §§ 38-40 

§ 34. Principles of Teaching 

The mind's most frequent intellectual act is to con- 
nect one thing with another, but its highest performance 
is to think a thing apart into its elements. Dissociation 
or analysis furnishes the data for the advanced types of 
human thinking and action and, by giving a chance for 
the operation of the law of partial activity, is the basis 
of reasoning and intelligent morality. For the habits 
of human thought are not merely habits of response to 
the actual gross situations of life, to 'being hungry when 
in sight of an apple tree' or 'being sleepy in bed' or 
'being struck by a foe,' but are responses to whole classes 
of situations at once and to detailed elements, aspects 
and features of situation. We can respond to the quality 
eight, regardless of whether it be eight kittens, eight 
dollars, eight elephants or eight trees,— to the quality 
round, regardless of whether it be the ring of a circus 
or the ring of a bride. 

To teach the meaning of six or unless or because to d 
primary class, the laws of mood and tense to students 
beginning the study of grammar, the principles of the 
order of the sentence in German, — in all cases where the 
facts to be appreciated or the laws to be understood con- 


134 The Principles of Teaching 

cern something beyond direct experiences of concrete 
things and events, — something more is needed than put- 
ting one thing with another in the way they ought to go. 
One thing must be put zvith many things, with some one 
feature of zvhich it is to go. StimuH must now be so 
arranged that certain elements or aspects hitherto unde- 
fined or even unexperienced will be clearly felt, that 
certain general and abstract judgments will emerge from 
the given facts. 

This same power of analysis is involved in teaching 
the more advanced, abstract and general facts from the 
starting-point of simpler abstractions already learned. 
Knowledge of the meaning of 'a number' is gained from 
knowledge of the meaning of two, six, eight, thirteen, 
twenty, one-half and six-tenths, just as the knowledge 
of the meaning of *six' is gained from experience of six 
blocks, six balls, six books, six trees, and the like. The 
meaning of virtue comes similarly from already acquired 
meanings of bravery, sympathy, honesty and the like. 

The same process of analysis is involved in those 
subtler forms of reasoning which we call judgment, tact 
and intuition as well as in reasoning outright. Many 
experiences of faces, differing in features, complexion, 
etc., but alike in some subtle signs of dishonesty, produce 
m the trained judge of men the judgment, *a lack of 
straightforwardness,' about any individual of that gen- 
' eral type. "Many experiences of the weather, alike in 
some subtle and undescribed combination of Vs^ind, 
cloudiness, etc., and different in all else, develop the 
connection between the judgment, *It will rain,' and any 
day of a certain type. 

Whenever, in fact, the intellect responds to a part or 
aspect which it experiences only in complex mixtures, 
whether by explicit thought or by subtle intuition, its 

The Principles of Analysis 135 

response depends on the law of analysis. In teaching, 
therefore, whenever the desired response concerns an 
element or aspect experienced only in complex mixtures, 
the principle will be to provide the conditions which 
favor the operation of the law of analysis. These are : — 

1. Experiences of enough total facts in each of 
which (a) the element is as obtrusive as possible, as little 
encumbered by irrelevant detail as possible, and in which 
(b) the element's concomitants or surroundings vary. 

2. The comparison of these facts with attention 
directed toward the elements or parts of each fact, 
especially toward the element in question. 

3. The association of a convenient verbal description 
of the element with it through association with each of 
its manifestations. (The convenient verbal description 
is commonly twofold, a definition which describes the 
element well and a name or symbol which h brief and 
refers to it without ambiguity. Thus we !iave 'Density 
is the ratio of the mass to the volume of a body' and the 
symbol 'D.') 

4. Repeated practice in responding correctlv to the 
element in new complexes. 

§ 35. Their Application: Exercises 

I. What was the probable defect in the instruction 
which led to this incident? A child was being displayed 
by his fond parents. Says the father, holding a knife in a 
vertical position, 'What do you call that?' T calls it a 
knife.' 'Yes, it is a knife, but think what you learned the 
other day at kindergarten.' T calls it a knife.' No coax- 
ing succeeds in eliciting anything but knife, till the mother 
tries with a pencil held upright. To this the desired 
response comes, 'I calls it vertical.' [41] 


The Principles of Teaching 



Fig. 13. 

2. Why do children not 
learn from their general 
experience of words that to 
express the fact that some- 
thing is done to a person 
or thing some word like is, 
ivas, are, or he is used 
with another word telling 
what the 'something done' 

3. In teaching the de- 
finition of an angle at the 
beginning of high-school 
geometry, which figure is 
the better, one like Fig. ii 
or one like Fig. 12? Why? 

4. Which would show 
the essential fact, the dif- 
ference in direction be- 
tween two lines, least en- 
cumbered with the irrele- 
vant detail of the length to 
which the lines are extend- 
ed. Fig. 13 or Fig. 14? 

5. What is the value 
of such an exercise as : — ■ 
Name all the angles in Fig. 


6. Of this : — Name ten 
angles in Fig. 16. 

7. Of this : — Name five 
pairs of lines in Fig. 16 
such that in each pair there 
is no difference of direc- 

The Principles of Analysis 



8. Which of the following cases of the use of 
although is the better fitted to give knowledge of its 
meaning, (A) or (B)? 

9. Give the reason for 
your choice. 

A. Although he is a 
farmer, he is very 

Although it was 
Sunday, he went 

B. Although he is awake, his eyes are shut. 
Although it was Monday, there was no school. 

10. Give four or five other sentences varying the 
concomitants of although, and so chosen as to attract 
attention to its meaning. 

11. What would be the 
effect of giving the class at 
the same time these sen- 
tences? Fig. 15. 

Because he is awake, his eyes are open. 
Because it is Monday, there will probably be 

12. Which of the following exercises in application 
of the knowledge is the bet- 
ter, (A) or (B)? Why? 

Put in each empty 
space the word ^'^^- ^^• 

although if it makes a sensible or true statement 
out of the sentence and the word because if it 
makes a sensible or true statement out of the 
sentence. Put in the word that makes the sen- 
tence sound best. 

138 The Principles of Teaching 

Four three's are twelve if you add 

three and three and three and three you get 

four three's are twelve, four twenty- 
three's are not twenty twelve. 

I will not eat I would like to 

He plays he likes to. 

He knew it was ten o'clock he heard 

the bell. 

They are very big they are very young. 

They are very small they are sixteen 

years old. 

She runs she is tired 


Write two sentences with although in each. 
Tell me something, using the word although. 

13. Underline once those of the questions and direc- 
tions below which are designed to give experiences of 
enough total facts in which the concomitants of the 
element, difference in direction of two lines, vary. 

14. Underline twice those which are designed to 
make the element as obtrusive as possible and as little 
encumbered by irrelevant detail as possible. 

15. In what way in these questions and exercises is 
attention directed toward the element, difference in 
direction ? 

Take pencil, paper and a ruler. Make five points on 
the sheet an inch or so apart. Mark them P^ P^ P^, etc. 
From point i draw a line In a horizontal direction and to 
the right. Mark It line i. Draw another line from 
point I in a vertical direction toward the top of the 
paper. Mark It line 2, Draw from point 2 a line to the 
right as you did before but twice as long. Mark it line 3. 

The Principles of Analysis 139 

Draw from point 2 a line in a vertical direction as you 
did line 2 but twice as long. Mark it line 4. From 
point 3 draw two lines with a difference in direction half 
that between lines i and 2 . Mark them line 5 and line 6. 
From point 4 draw two lines with a difference in direc- 
tion one and a half times that between line i and line 2. 
Mark the lines line 7 and line 8. We may name any 
angle by naming its sides and point or vertex. Thus the 
first angle we drew would be called angle i P^ 2, the one 
we drew next would be called angle 3 P^ 4. Draw from 
point 5 lines 9 and 10 making an angle, — that is, a differ- 
ence in direction, — equal to angle 5 P^ 6, but make the 
lines only half as long as lines 5 and 6. Cover part of 
the lines 7 and 8. Is the angle 7 P* 8 any smaller? 
What angle drawn is equal to angle i P^ 2 ? 

Take two threads both tied at one end to the same 
thumb-tack and each tied at the other end to a separate 
pin. Fasten the thumb-tack in the middle of one cover 
of your note-book. Stretch out one thread and stick the 
pin firmly in the cover. Now stretch out the other thread 
so that it lies just on top of the first thread, having the 
same direction. Do the two threads make an angle? 
None or, we might say, a zero angle, since their differ- 
ence in direction is zero. Swing the unfastened pin 
around till It makes with the fixed thread an angle equal 
to 5 P^ 6. Swing it further till the angle is equal to 
I P^ 2. Swing it further till it is just in line with the 
fixed thread but extending In the opposite direction. The 
difference In direction between the two parts of a straight 
line turned the one In the opposite direction from the 
other Is called a straight angle. Move the thread still 
further. If we count the angle or difference In direction 
along the path that the thread has followed, the angle 
Is crreater than a straight angle. Such an angle is called 

140 The Principles of Teaching 

a reflex angle. Swing the thread still further until it is 
nearly back to its starting place. The difference in 
direction or angle between it and the fixed thread is now 
almost equal to two straight angles if we count the dif- 
ference in direction along the path the thread has fol- 
lowed, and almost equal to zero if we count it along the 
unfollowed path toward the original position. 

How many straight angles would the dift'erence in 
direction between north and south be ? To what direction 
would i^ straight angles bring you, starting from north 
and turning toward the west? To what direction would 
2 straight angles bring you, starting from due east? 

1 6. What total facts would you select as the material 
by considering which a pupil could come to know the 
abstract element, 'a negative quantity'? 

17. Answer the same question in the case of the 
meaning of 'a noun.' 

18. In the case of the meaning of 'unless.' 

19. In the case of the meaning of 'one-sixth.' 

20. In the case of the meaning of 'wealth.' 

21. In the case of the law of the result of the com- 
bination of an acid and a base. 

22. In the case of the meaning of 'acceleration.' 

23. State in three or more of these cases how you 
would make sure that the attention of the student was 
directed toward the essential element. 

24. In which one of the seven cases is a useful 
definition most difficult? 

25. What is the advantage of such a name for an 
angle as ^r^? Of ff O in place of 'a substance composed 
of molecules formed by the union of two atoms of hydro- 
gen with one atom of oxygen'? 

26. Make out for two or more of the seven cases ten 
exercises each in detecting the element in new complexes. 

The Principles of Analysis 141 

27. What words would you select for phonic drill 
on at (as in hat), ate (as in mate), ick (as in stick) and 
ike (as in strike) ? 

In many cases a pupil's previous experience has pro- 
vided enough total facts presenting the element or aspect 
in question with varying concomitants, but the process 
of analysis has not been made, or has been made only 
partially or crudely, or has resulted in the abstraction of 
some insignificant or non-essential feature. So with 
blue for some kindergarten children, square for primary 
school children, river for those in the fourth grade, 
weight for those in the eighth, density 2ind heat for high- 
school pupils. In such cases the work of teaching is to 
direct attention to the facts already known or to extend, 
refine or replace the previous work of analysis. 

28. Is the task of teaching the difference between a 
mechanical mixture and a chemical compound in the 
first year of high school chiefly to provide certain total 
facts or to call attention to certain aspects of facts 
already often experienced? 

29. What additional facts would you provide to 
extend the work of previous analysis in the case of teach- 
ing the definition of weight to high-school pupils? 
Choose three from the following list : 

a. Air has weight. 

b. The gas in a balloon has weight. 

c. A chair has weight. 

d. A feather has weight. 

e. The m.oon has weight. 

f. Ambition has not weight. 

g. Love has not weight, 
h. An apple has weight. 

i. The weight of a quart of water or of a cubic 

142 The Principles of Teaching 

inch of lead or of your hat is not the same on 
the top of a mountain as in a valley below, 
j. A headache has not weight. 
k. The desire to eat candy has not weight. 
30. Before reading the next paragraphs write out a 
definition of heat. Write out also a definition of tem- 
perature. Then study the paragraphs. Note the changes 
which they make in your ideas of these two facts and the 
means by which they make them. Note especially what 
previous experiences are selected for review, what new 
experience is given, what use is made of comparison, 
what use is made of contrast, and how care is taken that 
the student learns facts rather than words. 

I. Distinction between Heat and Temperature 

"218. Most people will agree that a cup of water 
taken from a boiling kettle has, at the instant it is dipped 
out, the same temperature as that of the boiling water. 
Most people will likewise agree that for heating pur- 
poses the large kettle is much more efficient than the 
small cup of water. A water bag or a water bottle that 
holds a gallon will give out more heat and give it out 
longer, other things being equal, than one which holds 
only a pint. If the temperatures of the two vessels of 
water are the same the larger is said to contain more 
heat. If a bath tub be half filled with cold water, one 
can heat it more by pouring in a gallon of boiling water 
than by putting in a quart of boiling water ; for, although 
the temperatures are the same, the gallon contains more 
heat than the quart. These simple facts are cited merely 
to show that popular notions concrning the distinction 
between heat and temperature are perfectly clear. They 
are also correct. But before the word temperature can 
be admitted to the rather select vocabulary of physics, it 
must be defined in unmistakable English. This we now 
proceed to do. 

Imagine three vessels of water, A, B, C (Fig. no), 
(Fig. 17 here) each containing a different quantity of 

The Principles of Analysis 


water. If A and B are placed side by side, in contact, 
and B thereby gains heat, — be it ever so Httle, — A has 
imparted heat to B ; and A is said to have a higher tem- 
perature than B. 

Fig. 17. 

Put C in contact with B ; if B thereby loses heat, — 
be it ever so little, — heat has passed into C ; and C is said 
to be at a lower temperature than B. 

When, in general, one body is placed in contact with 
another, the difference of temperature between the 
bodies is that which determines which way the heat 
flows. If the heat flows from A to B, A has the higher 
temperature; but if the heat flows from B to A, then B 
has the higher temperature. 

Consider two vessels of water, E and F (Fig. iii), 
(Fig. 18 here) connected by a rubber tube. Does the 



Fig. 18. 

water always flow from the large vessel to the small 
one? What does determine the direction of the flow? 
If the water flows from E to F, does the surface of the 
water in F rise by the same amount that the surface in 
E falls? 

144 The Principles of Teaching 

Returning now to Fig. no, heat the water in the 
smaller vessel C, nearly to the boiling point, while the 
water in A has about the temperature of the room. 
Place a thermometer in each vessel, and then put the 
vessel C into A, without allowing the liquids to mix. 
Does the temperature of C fall as much as that of A 
rises ? 

Point out clearly the analogy between temperature 
and level ; also between change of temperature and 
change of level. 

219. The following definitions will now be clear to 
everyone who has mastered the foregoing facts : 

"Definition of Temperature. — The temperature of a 
body is its thermal state considered zvith reference to its 
power of communicating heat to other bodies. 

''Definition of Higher and Lower Temperature. — • 
If Ziehen tzvo bodies are placed in thermal communication, 
one of the bodies loses heat, and the other gains heat, that 
body zvhich gives out heat is said to have a higher tem- 
perature than that zvhich receives heat from it. 

''Corollary. — // zvhen tzvo bodies are placed in 
thermal communication neither of them loses or gains 
heat, the tzvo bodies are said to have equal temperatures 
or the same temperature. The tzvo bodies are then said 
to be in thermal eqiiilibrium. 

*'Law of Equal Temperatures. — Bodies zvhose tem- 
peratures are equal to that of the same body have them- 
selves equal temperatures." — Maxwell, Theory of Heat, 
Ch. 11. 

The point in this definition which calls for emphasis 
is the fact that temperature is a state of a body. 'It is 
a condition which confronts us/ " [42] 

31. Plan a lesson the aim of which shall be to refine 
the inadequate ideas of the likenesses and differences 
between animals and plants possessed by beginners in 

32. The qualities of a good description of an 
abstracted element, in other words of a good definition 
of the word which names it, are precision and simplicity. 
"To be precise is to tell exactly what the word means— 

The Principles of Analysis 145 

no more and no less; to state the characteristics of an 
object, in virtue of which the name is apphcable, with 
perfect definiteness. To be simple in a definition is to 
frame it in such a way that it will immediately mean 
something to the people for whom it is intended." [43] 
Score each of the following definitions as good or 
poor in precision (gp or pp) and also as good or poor in 
simplicity (gs or ps). 

a. Addition is the putting together of two or more 
numbers so as to make but one. [44] 

b. Arithmetical progression is when a series of num- 
bers increases by a common excess, or decreases by a 
common difference. [45] 

c. The inclination of two lines meeting one another, 
or the opening between them, is called an angle. [46] 

d. The process of finding the difference between two 
numbers is called subtraction. [47] 

e. The product of several equal factors is called a 
power of one of them. [48] 

f. To multiply a number (the mutliplicand) by an 
abstract number (the multiplier) is to do to the former 
what is done to unity to obtain the latter. [49] 

g. Velocity is the time rate of change of posi- 
tion of the particle. [50] 

h. The velocity of a motion is the space traversed 
in a unit of time. It may be In miles per hour, feet per 
second, etc. [51] 

i. Density is simply the ratio of the mass to the vol- 

ume of a body. -C^^T/ [5^] 

j. The density of a substance is the amount of mat- 
ter in a given bulk. It is determined by the weight of 
the substance. A cubic inch of lead is heavier than a 
cubic Inch of wood because it is more dense. Density 
is entirely distinct from hardness. [53] 


146 The Principles of Teaching 

k. An adjective Is a word joined by way of descrip- 
tion or limitation to a noun or a pronoun. [54] 
1. A noun is a word used as a name. [55] 
m. A noun Is the nam.e of a thing. 
n. A verb Is the name of an action. 

For Further Reading 

C. A. McMurry and F. M. McMurry, The Method of the 
Recitation, Chapter II. 



Preparatory, Elements of Psychology, §§ 48 and 49 

§ 36. Reasoning as Selective Thinking 

General Principles. — The processes of judging facts, 
reasoning, following an argument and reaching conclu- 
sions are the same processes of association and dissocia- 
tion as are found in all learning; the difference is that 
there is active selection within the present thought of 
some part or aspect which consequently determines the 
next thought, and selection again amongst the sequent 
thoughts, retaining one and discarding others. The laws 
of rational thought are, that is, the general laws of asso- 
ciation and dissociation, but with predominance of the 
law of partial activity. The principles of teaching in the 
case of responses of comprehension, inference, invention 
and the like are the principles of apperception, habit 
formation and analysis, but special importance now 
attaches to principles derived from the fact that (i) the 
total set or context or system of thought and (2) any 
single feature of a thought, as well as the particular 
thing thought of, may decide the future course of 

The principles thus derived are: (i) Arouse in the 
pupil's mind the system of ideas and connections relevant 
to the work in hand. (2) Lead him to examine each 


148 The Principles of Teaching 

fact he thinks of in the Hght of the aim of that work and 
to focus attention on the element of the fact which is 
essential to his aim. (3) Insist that he test whether or 
not it is the essential by making sure that it leads on to 
the goal aimed at and by the logical step of verification, 
by comparing the conclusions to which it leads with 
known facts. 

Thus in helping a class to reason out the answer to 
the problem, 'Why is it wise for people suffering from 
consumption to go to Denver rather than stay in New 
York City?', a teacher would ask such suggestive ques- 
tions as : 'What do you know about the causes and cure 
of consumption? What are some features of location 
which influence health ? What are some other differences 
between New York and Denver which are important 
from the point of view of health?' Unless a pupil's 
trains of thought lay within the general system of 
'thoughts of physical and social forces of cities which act 
on health,' there would be little chance of his reasoning 
well. Supposing that latitude, longitude, altitude, nature 
of prevailing winds, size of the cities, differences in the 
occupations of their inhabitants, mountains versus level 
country, well-water versus tap-water and other facts 
have been offered as explanations, good teaching will 
(2) encourage the pupil to attend to each of these facts 
from the point of view of the difference to a consumptive. 
What difference in latitude is there between New York 
and Denver? How would latitude in itself influence 
climate? Davos, Switzerland, the Adirondack Moun- 
tains and Asheville, N. C, are all noted resorts for con- 
sumptives. How much influence has latitude? Does 
longitude make the difference? Why not? In what 
respects are Denver, Asheville, Davos and other resorts 
for consumptives alike? What are some features of 

Reasoning 149 

climate that are specially injurious to consumptives? 
Finally when the pupil concludes that, say, the greater 
evenness of temperature throughout the year leads con- 
sumptives to prefer Denver, the teacher will require him 
to show that in point of fact less variability in tem- 
perature does exist there, and that it is favorable to con- 

The three principles may be illustrated further in con- 
nection with the following problem : — 

A pays $10,000 for a bond, 4 per cent, interest on 
which is paid every Dec. 31 for 10 years, at the end 
of which the $10,000 principal is paid. On the same date 
B pays $10,000 for a farm, for the rent of which he re- 
ceives every Dec. 31 for 10 years 10 per cent, of the 
farm's assessed valuation, which at the time of purchase 
is $5,000. On Dec. 31 of each year B pays in taxes 2 per 
cent, of the assessed valuation. Each year his farm in- 
creases in value $200. Who made the better investment, 
A or B? 

(i) The arousal of relevant systems of arithmetical 
knowledge and ideas of profit and loss is almost certainly 
a result of the statement of the problem itself. The 
teacher may have to assist the pupil, however, (2) to 
'focus attention on the element of the fact which is es- 
sential.' Thus it will be advantageous for the pupil to 
arrange the facts as (A) amounts of income and prin- 
cipal due to owning the bond and (B) amounts of income 
and principal due to owning the real estate. It will also 
help in the solution of the problem if the pupil observes 
that the initial cost is the same and that the essential is 
therefore the amount in hand at the end of each year. 
It will also help the pupil if, after finding that in the 
first year the real estate bargain has netted an equal 
income and a rise in value of $200, he thinks of the facts 
that by the conditions of the problem the rent of the real 

150 The Principles of Teaching 

estate will thereafter exceed the interest on the bond and 
that the rise in value continues. 

The step of verification by actual fact, that is by 
finding two such properties, buying them and counting 
the profits after ten years, is of course unnecessary as 
well as impracticable here. 

Difficulties in Teaching Reasoning. — There is no 
royal road to teaching subjects requiring reasoning. 
The student must have the facts to reason with and have 
them arranged in systems in the way in which they will 
be needed. He must replace the gross total fact which 
suggests nothing or a thousand irrelevant things by that 
one of its elements or features or aspects that does 
suggest some consequence of use for the solution of the 
problem in hand. He must learn to criticise his ideas 
so as to know which do show signs of usefulness for the 
purpose, when to give a line of thought up as hopeless, 
and what he has proved when he has finished. He must 
make sure that he has not somewhere made a slip by 
testing his conclusion by actual experience or by com- 
parison with facts absolutely certain. 

The teacher's work in guiding rational thought bears 
much the same relation to his work in habit formation 
that teaching a child to himself find the way to go from 
his house to one a mile away would bear to teaching him 
to follow the road there. In the latter case you have 
only to put certain acts with certain situations, — going 
to the right by the mill, taking the path at the top of the 
ridge and the like. But in the former you must make 
sure that the youngster knows what place he is to try to 
reach and keeps it in mind. He must also at least know 
that to get to a place you must keep going and not lie 
down to sleep; he must have some knowledge of the 
direction in which the house lies and of the roads and 

Reasoning 151 

woods and valley in the neighborhood. He starts off 
correctly and at a cross-road turns to the left. 'What 
did you do that for, John?' 'I don't know/ 'Where are 
you going?' 'To grandpa's.' 'Where does that road 
go?' 'To the school-house.' 'Is that on the way to 
grandpa's?' 'I don't know.' 'What comes after the 
school-house if you go down this road?' 'The church.' 
'How long does it take to go from grandpa's to the 
church?' 'Oh! a long time.' 'Is grandpa's near the 
church?' 'No. It is a long way.' 'This road goes to 
the church. Is it a good way to go to grandpa's ?' 

If your boy is bright enough, he now turns to the 
right, but soon comes to the end of the road. 'Where do 
I go now?' says he. 'Where do you think?' 'I think 
we go through that field.' 'Well, try it and see !' You 
rapidly approach a pond and the boy sits down and cries. 
'I can't find the way to grandpa's.' 'What's the trouble ?' 
'You can't get around this pond, it's all swampy.' 'Do 
you have to go around it?' 'Yes. Grandpa's is up 
there and you have to go around the pond.' 'Go and 
look at the pond and see if you can find anything about 
it that will help you to get to grandpa's. And so on with 
constant stimulation to the examination of each situation 
confronted and with the selection and rejection of ways 
in the light of knowledge of their consequences, until 
grandpa's house is reached, or until the problem in 
arithmetic is solved. 

The Use of Comparison, Contrast and Analysis. — 
The teacher's chief means to aid the pupil in holding his 
mind to the point at issue, analyzing facts into their ele- 
ments, choosing the right element and testing progress 
by results, are (provided the facts needed to reason with 
are surely possessed) comparison, contrast and analysis. 

For instance, suppose that the teacher's problem is to 

152 The Principles of Teaching 

make a pupil really understand that in international trade 
the country which has a money balance owed to it as the 
result of the year's trade is not necessarily the gainer. 
The following somewhat crude lesson will show clearly 
the value of comparison and contrast: — 

You have 100 horses of equal value and are dealing 
with three men, Jones, Smith and Brown, each of whom 
has 100 cows, all 300 being of equal value. In trade with 
Jones you give 10 horses for 20 cows. In the trade with 
Smith you give 10 horses for 10 cows and 100 dollars. 
In trade with Brown you give 10 horses for 105 dollars. 
In which case do you have the largest money balance? 
Is the trade with Brown the most advantageous of the 
three ? 

Make a statement of your trade with Jones, Smith 
and Brown, e. g., 

Gave Received 

J. 10 horses. 20 cows. 
S. 10 horses. 10 cows and 100 dollars. 
B. 10 horses. 105 dollars. 

Suppose that you trade as before with Jones, Smith 
and Brown and sell a fourth man, Adams, 10 of the 
20 cows you get from Jones, receiving from him 10 
horses of equal value with your first 100? In trad- 
ing with Jones and Adams do you have any money 
balance? Do you make any real profit? Make a state- 
ment of your trade with Jones and Adams, with Smith 
and with Brown. ^ 

Suppose that you trade as before but instead of selling 
Smith 10 horses for 10 cows and 100 dollars, you sold 
him 10 horses for 100 dollars. Is your money balance 
from the trade any less? Is your gain any less? 

The following cases will show the value of analysis 
of the fact, balance of trade, into its elements : 

Reasoning 153 

Suppose that your nation has ten horses, a thousand 
dollars, ten cows, two houses, six chairs, two suits of 
clothes and provisions for a year. 

Suppose that the only other nations of the world are 
A, B and C, which have each the same amount of property 
and of money as your nation. 

If after a year of trade A, B and C had each 1333^ 
dollars and your nation had all of their property, which 
would be the best off? 

Would the case be different if the figures were 
1333333 dollars, provided your nation had acquired 
all of the property ? 

Which does an individual or a nation desire in the 
long run, more things or more money? 

If nation A exports to nation B and nation C the same 
quantities of products and gets in return from nation B 
1000 bales of silk and 2000 dollars, and from nation C 
1000 bales of the same silk and 200 automobiles, what 
decides which trade is the more advantageous? 

Limitations to Teaching. — Constant control, con- 
sideration of possibilities, recall of the consequences of 
each possibility, testing, trying another, proving its fitness, 
searching for the next step in view of the end to be reached 
and the like make rational thinking more difficult for the 
pupil and Its direction more difficult for the teacher than 
is the case with simple habit formation. 

Moreover the capacity to think In parts and to think 
things together comes later In life and Is weaker than the 
capacity to put one thing with another. Nature limits 
teaching more sharply in the logic of arithmetic than In 
its computation ; in the theory of language than In its 
use; in the appreciation of scientific arguments than In 
simply knowing scientific facts. There are by nature 
many more learners than thinkers. Teaching must not 

154 The Principles of Teaching 

be blamed for not doing what only natural gifts can do. 
What teaching can do is to see that the aim of the 
work is known, that the facts to reason with are known, 
and that they are arranged in useful systems; to check 
the pupil in his pursuit of irrelevant ideas, helping him 
early or late in each such side-excursion to see that he is 
off the track ; to bring into relief the elements of any fact 
by comparison, contrast and analysis ; to suggest ways 
of testing the validity of each step; and to develop the 
habits of deliberation, criticism and verification. In the 
case of two special forms of thought, somewhat more 
definite principles of guidance can be given. These will 
be postponed to separate sections on Inductive Teaching 
and Deductive Teaching. 


So-called Reasoning is the result of ordinary habits 
of thought plus selection. Good teaching provides the 
basis for this selective thinking, knowledge of the goal 
to reason toward and of the facts to reason with, arouses 
and guides it by the help of comparison, contrast and 
analysis and forms the habit of always verifying its 

§ 37. Inductive Methods of Teaching 

Induction and Deduction. — In the common meaning 
of the words, inductive thinking is inference that pro- 
gresses from particular facts to a general conclusion or 
from a series of general facts to a still more general con- 
clusion, while deductive thinking is inference from a gen- 
eral fact to some particular fact or from a more general 
fact to some less general fact. There are many objec- 

Reasoning 155 

tions to these definitions from the point of view of psy- 
chology and also from that of logic, but for the purpose 
of making a distinction between two common processes 
in teaching, they are unobjectionable. 

Following this common usage, inductive teaching may 
be defined as teaching some general fact on the basis of 
knowledge of particular or of less general facts ; deductive 
teaching, as teaching some fact on the basis of knowl- 
edge of a more general fact. Experimental work in 
science, in which particular facts are acquired, grouped, 
compared and made to suggest a general law, is the type 
of inductive teaching; geometry, in which from a few 
axioms about equals and unequals and a few simple 
premises in the shape of definitions of lines, angles, and 
the like, the student is shown how to prove some other 
general truth, is the type of the latter. 

In the actual thinking of the class-room, inductions 
and deductions are intermingled each with the other and 
both with inferences from one particular to another par- 
ticular and from one general to another of the same 
degree of generality. It is, however, convenient to treat 
the two methods of teaching separately. 

Direct and Analytic Inductions. — Facts to be taught 
inductively are of two sorts: (i) Cases where the gen- 
eral fact is simply the uniform occurrence of some con- 
nection between two gross, concrete, easily observed facts ; 
e. g., that every day is followed by a night, that if you 
put your finger in a flame it feels hot, that if you let go 
of an apple it falls. (2) Cases where the general fact 
is the uniform occurrence of some connection between 
two facts one of which (or both of which) is a partial or 
abstract fact which can be thought about only after it 
has been analyzed out of the complexes in which it 
inheres ; e. g., that oxygen causes rust, that the moon is 

156 The Principles of Teaching 

the cause of the tides, that bacilli which produce lactic 
acid are the cause of the souring of milk. These two 
classes of facts are not, however, sharply separated ; there 
is a gradation from the most obvious to the most abstract. 

Principles of Teaching. — The teaching of inductions 
of the first sort is essentially the formation of a mental 
habit and the principle to be followed is that of habit 
formation. The teaching of the second sort is essentially 
the abstraction of an element plus the formation of a 
mental habit. The principles of teaching here grow 
directly out of the principles of analysis, the essentials of 
method being ( i ) a clear statement of the goal aimed at, 
(2) the selection of enough and representative individual 
facts, (3) their arrangement in such a way as to make the 
general idea or judgment to which they lead obvious, (4) 
the verification of the conclusion by an appeal to known 
facts, and (5) its reinforcement and clarification by exer- 
cises in applying it to new individual facts. 

In practice, a teacher must often, indeed usually, sac- 
rifice the advantages of 'enough' facts to economize time. 
If the data really desirable as a basis for teaching induct- 
ively the influence of a hot climate on the activities of 
man were presented, a score of lesson periods would be 
required. It becomes all the more necessary to choose 
representative facts, facts that are a fair sampling of the 
whole class to be considered. Thus in teaching about 
rivers, the Mississippi, Tennessee and Connecticut would 
be a better three than the Potomac, Hudson and Con- 
necticut since the latter are all of the peculiar estuary 

The crucial point in inductive teaching is the arrange- 
ment of the individual facts so as to make the general idea 
or judgment to which they lead obvious. For this the 
utmost ingenuity in using comparison and contrast is 

Reasoning 157 

often necessary. The pupil must be led to think in parts 
or elements and to select the right part or element. The 
principles to follow are the principles of selective attention 
and analysis. 

The verification of conclusions is the keystone of cor- 
rect inductive thinking in the world at large and should 
be more prominent in the school. The common practice 
of children is to accept as true whatever the teacher does 
not oppose. This is not so bad as it may seem, for 'to be 
accepted by the expert' is a sort of verification well known 
and not despised by science, and to the scholar the teacher 
stands 'in loco experti.' Verification by actual experi- 
ment or observation is, however, preferable as a matter of 
training; and recourse to other authorities than the 
teacher provides useful experience of the bulk of expert 
knowledge which is stored up in dictionaries, encyclo- 
pedias, tables, maps, books, and the like. 

In such a case as learning from experiments with or 
discussions of the facts, 'friction causing heat,' 'impact of 
falling bodies causing heat,' 'an electric current causing 
heat' and the like, that heat is a mode of energy, the pupil's 
reasoning is imperfect until he does at least something in 
the way of experimental verification, such, for instance, 
as repeating Joule's experiment of expending given quan- 
tities of energy in raising the temperature of a vessel of 
water by friction. In such a case as learning inductively 
from experiments or discussions the fact of erosion, a 
pupil's reasoning is not complete until he has not only 
prophesied but also verified the result of making a brook 
go down a certain valley, or of leaving a mound of dirt 
exposed to a heavy shower. The best answer a pupil can 
make to the question, 'How do you know that the Hudson 
river carries soil from one place to another?', is to bring 

158 The Principles of Teaching 

you a bottle of water from the river and show you the 
sediment in it. 

The Use of Types. — Many of the advantages of in- 
ductive teaching can be secured through a compromise 
between an out and out induction and a mere statement 
of conclusions, namely, through the type method. The 
thorough study of one typical case of a class or law gives 
a basis of real experience which serves to interpret, though 
not to prove, the general statement. Knowledge about 
such a type also serves as a center of attraction for later 
knowledge of things like it. 

If a class in physical geography has but two weeks to 
give to the study of rivers, it will probably be best to give 
half of the time to one river alone, say the Mississippi. 
Since it is out of the question to teach the characteristics 
of the mammals by a valid induction, the choice is left 
between a very superficial study of many, an adequate 
study of four or five or a thorough study of one form, for 
instance the rabbit, alone. 

Thus one of the best of recent text-books on zoology 
(Parker and Haswell's) bases its discussion of each topic 
upon a thorough study of some one selected type. In the 
case of the birds, for instance, the arrangement of the 
section is as follows : 

An introduction of less than half a page stating the 
most general features of the Class. 

1. Example of the Class. The Common Pigeon 
(Columbia livia). This type study occupies 30 pages. 

2. Distinctive Character and Classification. 9 pages. 

3. General Organization. 28 pages. 

The same method is illustrated by teaching the syntax 
of a foreign language by model sentences, each serving 
as a type of some principle of grammar. Eysenbach's 
German grammar is a familiar example. 

Reasoning 159 

The loss in using types in place of an adequate survey 
of particulars is due to the decrease in actual inference on 
the part of pupils and the risk of appealing to mere 
memory. The special advantage of the use of types is 
economy of time and hence the possibility of presenting 
a richer and more varied content of knowledge in a sub- 
ject as a whole. 

The Formal Steps of Instruction. — The principles of 
inductive teaching have been formulated under the name 
of the steps of instruction or the formal steps. These are 
generally taken to be the following five : — 

1. Preparation: A statement of the aim of the work 
and a recall of facts already known in the light of which 
the new facts will be appreciated. This step refers to the 
use of the principle of apperception in teaching. 

2. Presentation : The knowledge of the 'enough and 
representative particular facts' is secured. 

3. Comparison and Abstraction: By studying the 
particular facts presented the student derives the essential 
general fact or law. 

4. Generalization: This general fact or law is ex- 
pressed clearly by the pupil. 

5. Application: New individual facts are judged by 
the aid of it. 

As has been shown, the vital features of inductive 
teaching concern steps 2 and 3, the selection of the most 
instructive particulars and their treatment so as to secure 
the abstraction of the general fact or law. It is, in fact, 
only in step 3 that Inductive reasoning is demanded of the 

These five formal steps serve as a convenient aid to 
thought In planning one's inductive teaching, but a new 
step should be added between the fourth and fifth, namely 
a step of veriUcation, In which the general conclusion is 

i6o The Principles of Teaching 

tested by an appeal to facts. It should also be borne in 
mind that step i concerns the general principle of apper- 
ception rather than inductive teaching in particular, that 
step 4, though important, is brief and usually comes 
almost of itself once step 3 is successfully carried through, 
and that step 5 is deductive. 

Unfortunately very much of so-called inductive teach- 
ing prolongs steps i and 2, heaping up in the latter par- 
ticular facts unfairly selected, and then makes step j for 
the pupil, and leaves its result unverified. 

Such teaching is as likely to form bad habits of 
thought as good, and if the pupil does gain real knov^l- 
edge of the general truth, it is not by deriving it in step 3, 
but in the course of trying to apply it. To state a fact or 
law outright with a few well chosen illustrations is better 
teaching than to give such make-believe inductions. 

§ 38. Deductive Methods of Teaching 

Principles of Teaching. — Good teaching by deductive 
methods depends upon a clear statement of the goal aimed 
at, independent search by pupils for the proper class under 
which to think of the fact in question, criticism by them 
and by the teacher of the different classes suggested, and 
appreciation of the reasons why the right one is the right 

The Causes of Difficulty in Deductive Thinking. — 

Deductive reasonings may be very easy or very hard to 
make. 'Shall I call brevity in the sentence, Brevity is 
the soul of wit, a noun or not?' is easy for any scholar 
who knows a little grammar. To prove that if the 
bisectors of two angles of a triangle are equal, the angle 
is isosceles by a direct demonstration based on no truths 

Reasoning i6i 

other than those established in, say, Book I of Went- 
worth's Geometry, is extremely hard. 

They are easy in proportion as the number of possible 
classes under which to think of the fact in question are 
known and are few, and in proportion as the consequences 
of being in each of such classes are known. Thus brevity 
can be only a noun or not a noun, and to decide that it is 
not a noun one needs only to decide that it is a noun or 
that it is not a verb, adjective, article, etc. How to 
translate anna in Anna virumque cano Troiae qui primus 
ah oris, etc., is easy because arma can only be nominative, 
accusative or vocative plural of armum or an imperative 
of annare and because the consequences of being nomi- 
native plural, being vocative plural, etc., are well known. 

Deductive reasonings are hard in proportion as the 
possible classes under which to think of the given fact are 
unknown or numerous, and in proportion as the conse- 
quences of being in each of such are unknown. To give 
a direct proof of the proposition that if the bisectors of two 
angles of a triangle are equal the triangle is isosceles is 
hard because there are hundreds of ways of thinking of 
(or classes under which to subsume) a triangle with the 
bisectors of two of its angles equal, many of which the 
student will never have thought of at all. TIow to best 
legislate so as to decrease divorces?' is harder to answer 
than, 'How to translate arniaf because the law to decrease 
divorce is a thing of such varied possibilities and also 
because the consequences of each one of these are so 
little known. 

The Search for the Essential Quality. — The crucial 
step in deductive teaching is the direction of the pupil's 
search for the proper class under which to think of the 
fact in question. This implies picking out the element or 
aspect of the fact in question which is essential for the 


i62 The Principles of Teaching 

problem in hand. Can you farm profitably on the banks 
of the Nile? Think of the Nile as a river with such and 
such a river basin and as a river with an annual overflow. 
'How shall you bridge the Nile ?' Think of the Nile as so 
wide and deep and with such and such a bottom. 'How 
far can you sail up the Nile?' Think of the Nile as so 
deep, with such and such falls and cataracts. 'Shall a 
town pump its drinking water from the Nile ?' Think of 
the Nile above the town only and of its sources of con- 
tamination. So long as one thought of the Nile only as 
in the class 'wide rivers' or as in the class 'typhoid-bear- 
ing' rivers, he would be unable to deduce anything about 
the fertility of its banks. 

Because of the difficulty of this step, all save a very 
few text-books omit it and tell the pupil what the element 
essential to his purpose is in the case of all but the very 
easy deductions. In geometry, for instance, the proofs 
are for the most part given ; in arithmetic examples of 
a certain sort are given in direct connection with the prin- 
ciple under which they come ; in geography questions are 
asked in a context which gives direct clues to the class 
under which the scholar must think of the fact to get the 
right answer. For instance, the question, 'Why do so 
few plants grow in a desert?' hardly requires any inde- 
pendent search by the pupil who meets the question 
immediately after having read : 'A desert has scarcely any 
rain. Here and there Is a small extent of country where 
the ground is moistened by water from springs. In such 
places the soil Is fertile and Is covered with plants.' 

The essential step In reasoning must sometimes be 
omitted In order to preserve the less capable pupils from 
vain efforts or random guessing and to save time. But 
the wise course is not to eliminate altogether the inde- 

Reasoning 163 

pendent search by pupils for the proper class, but to make 
it easier and briefer by directing it. 

It is made easier (i) by systematizing the process of 
search, (2) by limiting the number of classes amongst 
which the pupil must search for the right one, (3) by 
informing him of classes which include the right one and 
which he would neglect if undirected, and (4) by calling 
his attention to the consequences of membership in this 
or that class. Thus (i) to ask a pupil *What word does 
arma come from? What declension is it? What cases 
can it be?', makes the inference about arma easier than if 
he were left to an unsystematic trial of one translation 
after another. Thus (2) the question, 'What will prob- 

Fig. 19. 

ably happen to Norfolk, Virginia, in the next thirty 
years ?', is far too hard for eighth-grade pupils, but 'Which 
is the more likely, that Norfolk will increase its com- 
merce or lose it?', is an appropriate question. Thus (3) 
the task of the pupil who is trying to prove as an original 
the proposition, 'If one straight line cuts another straight 
line the opposite angles are equal,' is made easier if he is 
told to think of all the angles of which angle AOB is a 
part and of all the angles of which angle COD is a part 
(see Fig. 19.). (4) Help could have been given in the 
translation by suggesting that arma as accusative could 
find a place in the sentence as the object of cano ; in the 
geometry original by pointing out that the angle BOC is 
equal to angle AOD ; in the question about Norfolk by 
asking, 'What sort of a harbor has Norfolk? How near 

164 The Principles of Teaching 

is it to European ports ? To the wheat fields of the west ? 
To the coal and iron district of West Virginia ?,' etc. 


Good inductive teaching selects representative par- 
ticulars or instructive types for study, arranges them so 
that the pupil himself can realize their essential elements 
and derive the general truth, and requires its application 
to new particulars. 

Good deductive teaching encourages the pupil to 
search for the proper class under which to put a fact, and 
directs his search by systematizing it, reducing alter- 
-natives and calling attention to neglected consequences. 

In both cases good teaching uses comparison, contrast 
and analysis as the means of securing attention to the 
essential element and insists on the verification of con- 
clusions by an appeal to known facts. In both cases a 
teacher's work is to fit the difficulty of the reasoning to 
the capacity of the pupil to think with parts and qualities. 

The common error is to never teach reasoning but 
only the results of someone else's reasoning. When this 
is done after a make-believe process of reasoning which 
deceives the pupil into thinking he has himself solved the 
problem, the result is still worse. 

§ 39. Exercises 

lo Which of these interests is of assistance in teach- 
ing reasoning? The interest in the concrete, the interest 
in independent achievement, the interest in novelty. 

2. Write a brief statem.ent (from thirty to fifty 
words) of the influence of previous experience upon 
present reasoning. 

Reasoning 165 

3. What features of teaching that gain attention will 
be efficacious also in stimulating reasoning? 

4. If the easiest way to satisfy teachers and succeed 
in school is by learning results rather than by understand- 
ing evidence, how much will students reason? 

5. If in all his studies a student finds causes asso- 
ciated with their effects, conclusions with the evidence for 
them, facts with the elements which compose them, false 
inferences with denial, and the like, what will be the result 
by the general law of association? 

6. Which two fundamental capacities are at the basis 
of reasoning? (See § 10.) 

7. Should a teacher expect all high-school pupils to 
reason out the propositions in geometry or the transla- 
tions in Latin? 

8. Show in a brief statement (of from fifty to a hun- 
dred words) that the principles of inductive teaching are 
simply adaptations of the principles of analysis. 

9. Could a person reason well or follow intelligently 
a train of reasoning about a class of objects if his knowl- 
edge of the individual members of the class was im- 
perfect ? 

10. Would he comprehend the answer to a question 
better if he were first made to realize the question ? Why ? 

11. In which case would a student be the more likely 
to comprehend a theory or argument : if he had his knowl- 
edge in the form of images, for instance of a leaf of cer- 
tain shape, or if he had it in the form of a judgment that 
the leaf was of that shape? 

12. If all judgments refer eventually to real objects, 
will it be generally safe to trust that judgments can be 
comprehended without actual demonstrations, experi- 
ments and object lessons? 

13. When the right element or aspect of a fact is 

i66 The Principles of Teaching 

selected, what more Is necessary to secure the right 
conclusion ? 

14. Illustrate failures in reasoning in geometry, in 
grammar or in geography due to the absence of knowl- 
edge, — the absence, that is, of certain facts or connections 
between facts. 

15. What devices would you use to make comparison 
easy in teaching the principle of the balance? In teach- 
ing the order of the sentence in German ? 

16. What are the differences between inductive 
reasoning and deductive reasoning? What, are their 
resemblances ? 

17. Name a school subject which begins with and 
continues with general and abstract notions. 

18. Name a school subject which deals almost exclu- 
sively with individual facts. 

19. What grammar-school subject involves most de- 
ductive reasoning? 

20. What high-school subject? 

21. Recall the answers to the exercises on Analysis. 
Plan a lesson to teach inductively the law of falling 
bodies or the facts of electrolysis or the laws of the verb- 
forms in indirect discourse in Latin or the explanation of 

22. Select ten sentences which would serve well as 
the individual facts from which to derive the general 
notions of active voice and passive voice. 

23. Select ten which would be far less efficient. 

24. How would you arrange the first ten on the 
blackboard for examination by the class? 

25. Illustrate the use of contrast in teaching voice. 

26. Arrange exercises suitable for the application of 
the knowledge gained of the active and passive voices. 

Reasoning 167 

2y. Which will best serve as a type of a mammal, a 
cat or a whale ? Why ? A rabbit or a man ? Why ? 

28. What experiment would you select as a typical 
illustration of the fact that heat is a mode of energy ? 

29. What are the defects of this lesson on tense? 
"Tense is made to consist of six variations, viz., the 

present, the imperfect, the perfect, the pluperfect, and 
the first and second future tenses. The present tense 
represents an action or event, as passing at the time in 
which it is mentioned; as, "I rule; I am ruled." The 
imperfect tense represents an action or event, either as 
past and finished, or as remaining unfinished, at a certain 
time past ; as, 'T loved her ; I was writing when he came." 
The perfect tense not only represents an event as past, 
but also conveys an allusion to the present tense; as, 'T 
have finished my letter." The pluperfect tense repre- 
sents a thing, not only as past, but as having past prior to 
some other point of time specified in the sentence; as, 
"I had finished writing before he arrived." The first 
future tense represents the action as yet to come, either 
with or without respect to the precise time; as, "I shall 
live ; ye will see." The second future tense intimates that 
the action will be fully accomplished, at or before the time 
of another future action or event ; as, 'T shall have dined 
at one o'clock." 


How many variations of tense are there, and what are 
they? How does the present tense represent an action? 
How does the imperfect ? How the perfect ? How does 
the pluperfect? How does the first future? What is 
said of the second future?" [56] 

30. In what ways is this better? 


"345. Notice the following sets of sentences : — 
(i) Mr. Marshall lives in London. 

Mr. Marshall lived in York. 

Mr. Marshall will live in Naples. 
(2) Jack is in the playground now. 

1 68 The Principles of Teaching 

Jack zvas in school this morning. 
Jack will he on the river this evening. 

346. Each verb gives us some notion of the time. 

Is and lives speak of present time. 
Was and lived speak of past time. 
Will he and zvill live speak of future time. 

347. A Verb may thus have three times or Tenses — 
the Present, the Past, and the Future. 

Note. — The term Present has already been used, as a 
name for certain of the Infinitives, Participles, and 
Gerunds (see page 145, footnote i). As applied to Ver- 
bals, however, the term Present is inaccurate, as the time 
or tense belonging to a Present Infinitive, for example, 
depends upon the tense of the Verb in the sentence. Thus 
in the sentence, 'The last time you called you had to leave 
early,' the Present Infinitive to leave denotes an action 
now past, since it depends upon the Verb had, which is in 
the Past Tense. So with the Present Participle and the 
Present Gerund in these sentences : 'Going down the 
street one day recently, I met old Mr. Crothers,' T was 
then in the habit of zvalking to my office.' In the same 
way, if a Present Verbal depends upon a Verb which is 
in the Future Tense, the Verbal becomes future in mean- 
ing; as, Tn case of my Unding him at home, what 
shall I do?' Tf you will be there, waiting for him, he 
says he will not disappoint you,' 'We shall soon be ready 
to start.'" [57] 

31. In what ways is this better still? 

Pick out the verbs in these sentences. 

The boat now goes at eight o'clock, but next year it will make 
two trips, one at six and one at nine. This arrangement was 
made by the company at their last meeting. The residents had 
hoped for many months that better means of communication with 
the city would soon be established. 

Why do you call goes, zvill make, was made, had 
Hoped and would he estahlished verbs? 

A verb may tell more than what somebody or some- 
thing does or is. To-day we will find out one of the other 
things that a verb tells. Look at the verbs in the sen- 

Reasoning 169 

tences below and see what the difference is between those 
m the first column and those in the second. 
The boat went yesterday. The boat will go next year. 

She sang that song Sunday. She will sing it again to-morrow. 
They were sick last week. They will be sick for a few days 


Which of these verbs tell that something was in the 
past? Which verbs tell that something will be in the 
future ? 

Write two sentences about the action of a man going 
to New York. In the first tell about the man going to 
New York in the past; in the second tell about the man 
going to New York in the future. 

Look at these sentences : 

The train is going sixty miles an hour now. 

Hear how loud that bird sings. 

They are sick. 

What Other time is there besides the past and the 
future ? 

Tell in the case of each of these sentences whether the 
verb expresses a past action or a present action or a 
future action. 

He will knock at your door at four o'clock. 

He knocked at my door yesterday. 

They write during this period. 

He wrote a letter in the evening. 

The wheels go around very fast. 

They went around faster the other day. 

What is the difference between the form of the verb 
*knock' when it expresses or denotes future action and its 
form when it expresses or denotes past action? What is 
the difference between the form of the verb Vrite' when 
it denotes present action and its form when it denotes past 
action? What word is used to tell about a person going 
in the past ? To tell about a person going now ? 

Verbs tell not only the kind of action or event but 
also the time when It takes place. The form of the verb 
is different when the action or event is represented in the 
past from what it is when the action or event is repre- 
sented in the present or in the future. 

170 The Principles of Teaching 

A difference in the form of a verb to denote time is 
called Tense. 

A verb that denotes present action is in the Present 

A verb that denotes past action is in the Past Tense. 

A verb that denotes future action is in the Future 

Write under each verb in the sentences below what 
tense it is in (as is done in the first line). 

It is hotter this summer than it was last summer. It will 
present past 

be cold enough in the winter. The sun will rise later and set 
earlier. Evening came so soon last November that the lights 
were being Ht in the house when I reached home from school. 
We do not light them now till after seven. You can see that it 
is quite light now though the bells are ringing seven. 

Did they send up my trunk from the station? No. They 
would not promise that it should be sent without a check. If 
you will send them the check, it will be sent. I shall be passing 
the office this evening, anyway. Won't it be open? It used to be 
open evenings. 

Write two sentences each with a verb in the present 

Write two sentences each with a verb in the past tense. 

Write two sentences each with a verb in the future 

32. What advantage would a student gain by mak- 
ing for himself the figure and statement given below 
(Fig. 20A) as a means toward doing this problem? A 
lady is buying carpet to carpet a room 14 feet long and 
1 1 feet wide. She has already a border of carpet one foot 
wide all around the room. How many square yards of 
carpet must she buy? 

33. What are the essential elements in the student's 
knowledge about the inside rectangle which enable him 
to find how many square yards it contains ? 

34. What properties or consequences or associates of 



108 square feet or of 9 feet long and 12 feet long must be 
called up in his mind to carry him on toward the solution ? 





Tvow rrvaaij s<^«.art uarAs cs tK^i inrxtA^ nfccJanJU? 


Fig. 20 

1^2 The Principles of Teaching 

35. How would the lady have verified the correctness 
of her decision ? How might the pupil do so conveniently 
with a piece of squared paper like Fig. 20 B ? 

36. How would students in geometry get on with the 
proposition, 'Lines parallel to the same straight line are 
parallel to each other/ if it were stated as, 'Two lines are 
parallel to the same straight line : what of it ?' Why ? 

37. How would they succeed with it if they thought 
of the two lines only as straight lines, as each making an 

A ^V- 




Fig. 21. 

Proof. Suppose T a transversal, making corresponding angles a, m, b, 
with A, M, B, respectively. 

Since A is parallel to M, angle a = angle m. A line cutting two parallels 
makes corresponding angles equal. 

And since B is parallel to M, angle b = angle m. 

Therefore angle a = angle b. 

Therefore A is parallel to B. If two corresponding angles are equal, the 
lines are parallel. 

angle equal, to two right angles, as not meeting each other 
or the third straight line? Why? 

38. How would they succeed if they thought of the 
three lines as cut by a transversal, but did not think of the 
relationships of equality and supplementalness of the 
angles made where parallels are cut by a transversal? 

39. Under what class should they think of angle a? 

40. Under what class should they think of angle b? 

41. What property of things equal to the same thing 
furthers the demonstration? 

Reasoning 173 

42. Classify the following helps in the case of the 
proposition just described as: 

1. Systematizing the search. 

2. Reducing alternatives. 

3. Suggesting a useful alternative. 

4. Suggesting consequences. 

a. After drav^ing lines A and B parallel to line M, 
draw a transversal cutting all three. 

b. Examine the relations of the angles thus formed. 

c. Which is the more likely to help you, to prove angle 

(a) equal to angle (b) or to prove angle (a) supple- 
mentary to angle (c) ? 

d. If you could prove that angle (a) equalled angle 

(b) could you then prove line A parallel to line B? 

43. Make a list of suggestions or questions designed 
to guide a 7th or 8th grade pupil in solving problem A. 
(The most instructive way to do so will be to actually 
assign the problem to some pupil and then help him to 
conquer those difficulties which he actually experiences 
in trying to solve it, making notes of the forms your help 

44. State in the case of each of your suggestions 
and questions how and why it was of help. 

John left Central Square at 9 A. M., riding a bicycle 
whose wheels were each 30 inches in diameter, and rode 
for two hours, pedalling at such a rate as to make ninety 
revolutions of the rear wheel per minute. After stopping 
20 minutes to rest he continued, but at a rate only two- 
thirds as fast. Fred started from Central Square at 
10 A. M., followed the same route as A for one hour, 
then rode a mile ofif the road and a mile back again. He 
then continued after John. His wheel was so geared that 
each revolution of the crank shaft carried him the same 

X74 ^^^^ Principles of Teaching 

distance as a wheel of 72 inches diameter would carry 
anyone in a single revolution. He pedalled throughout 
at such a rate as to make 36 revolutions of the crank 
shaft per minute. How far behind John would he be at 
12 o'clock? 

45. Give two suggestions of questions designed to 
reduce alternatives in the search for the classes under 
which to think of coal, heat, steam, pressure, and so on, 
so as to demonstrate why a few tons of coal can move 2 
heavy train for miles. 

46. Illustrate the use of comparison or contrast in 
directing attention to the essential element in the case of 
the fact, heated zvater, namely, its force of expansion. 

47. Criticise (A) and (B) on the basis of the facts 
of this chapter and the preceding one. 

48. Suggest modifications of (A) and of (B) with 
a view to adding clearness, omitting irrelevant facts, 
bringing the essentials into relief, and applying the gen- 
eral truth taught. 


"44. Attraction of Gravitation. — As the attrac- 
tion of cohesion unites the particles of matter into 
masses or bodies, so the attraction of gravitation tends to 
force these masses towards each other, to form those of 
still greater dimensions. The term gravitation, does not 
here strictly refer to the weight of bodies, but to the 
3 attraction of the masses of matter towards 
each other, whether downwards, upwards, 
or horizontally. 

45. The attraction of gravitation is 
mutual, since all bodies not only attract 
other bodies, but are themselves attracted. 

46. Two cannon balls, when suspend- 
ed by long cords, so as to hang quite near 

® each other, are found to exert a mutual at- 
A. traction, so that neither of the cords is ex- 

Reasoning 175 

actly perpendicular, but they approach each other as in 
Fig. A. 

47. In the same manner, the heavenly bodies, when 
they approach each other, are drawn out of the line of 
their paths, or orbits, by mutual attraction. 

48. The force of attraction increases in proportion 
as bodies approach each other, and by the same law it 
must diminish in proportion as they recede from each 

49. Attraction, in technical language, is inversely as 
the squares of the distances between the two bodies. 
That is, in proportion as the squares of the distance 
increases, in the same proportion attraction decreases, and 
so the contrary. Thus, if at the distance of 2 feet, the 
attraction be equal to 4 pounds, at the distance of 4 feet, it 
will be only i pound ; for the square of 2 is 4, and the 
square of 4 is 16, which is four times the square of 2. 
On the contrary, if the attraction at the distance of 6 feet 
be 3 pounds, at the distance of 2 feet it will be 9 times as 
much, or 2y pounds, because 36, the square of 6, is equal 
to 9 times 4, the square of 2. 

50. The intensity of light is 
found to increase and diminish in 
the same proportion. Thus, if 
a board a foot square, be placed o 
at the distance of one foot from a 
candle, it will be found to hide B^ 
the light from another board of 

two feet square, at the distance of two feet from the 
candle. Now a board of two feet square is just four times 
as large as one of one foot square, and therefore the light 
at double the distance being spread over 4 times the sur- 
face, has only one-fourth the intensity. 

51. The experiment may be easily tried, or may be 
readily understod by Fig. B. where c represents the 
candle, A, the small board, and B the large one ; B being 
four times the size of A. 

The force of the attraction of gravitation is in propor- 
tion to the quantity of matter the attracting body contains. 

176 The Principles of Teaching 

Some bodies of the same bulk contain a much greater 
quantity of matter than others ; thus, a piece of lead con- 
tains about twelve times as much matter as a piece of cork 
of the same dimensions, and therefore a piece of lead of 
any given size, and a piece of cork twelve times as large, 
will attract each other equally." [58] 


"15. The Law of Gravitation. — We all know 
these facts: that all bodies near the earth fall to it if 
they are free to fall ; that all bodies on the earth are held 
on it by some means which we cannot see ; and that the 
earth, the moon, and the planets are all held in place and 
kept moving about the sun, also by some invisible means. 
We see at a glance that there must be some mighty 
power, some great force necessary to accomplish this. 
And we call this the force of gravitation. 

But scientific men have gone a step farther, and they 
tell us that all bodies of matter exert this same force, — 
that every body of matter in the universe attracts every 
other body zvith a certain amount of force. The strength 
of this attraction between two bodies increases with the 
amount of matter in them, and decreases as they are 
moved farther apart. 

The rate of increase and decrease has been measured 
in many cases, and the result is summed up in the so-called 
Law of Gravitation. The law is as follows : 

The strength of the attraction of gravitation be- 
tween any two bodies of matter varies directly with 
the product of their masses (quantity of matter), and 
inversely as the squares of the distance between their 
centers of attraction. 

Or, putting it a little more simply, when a body attracts 
two others, for example, the greater o'f the two will be 
drawn by a force as much larger than the other as its 
mass is times the mass of the lesser. The last part of the 
law means that as the square of the distance between tw^o 
bodies increases, for instance, the attraction between them 
decreases in proportion. In computing the relative 

Reasoning 177 

attraction of two bodies for a third, of course both dis- 
tance and quantity of matter must be considered. Thus 
we find, for example, that while the mass of the sun is far 
greater than that of the moon, still the moon's distance is 
so much less than the sun's that it attracts bodies at the 
earth's surface more strongly than the sun does. This is 
shown by the tides, which are governed rather more by 
the moon's position than by the sun's. 

16. Gravity. — We wonder, almost at once, why, if 
every body of matter attracts every other, all things are 
not drawn together in one place. The reason is simple. 
If the strength of attraction increases with the amount 
of matter, surely the attraction of the earth is stronger 
than that of any body on its surface. Even if two bodies 
rest on a perfectly level surface, the attraction for the 
earth will still be so great that they cannot come together ; 
for In moving towards each other they will rub on the 
surface hard enough to overcome the weak attraction 
between them. 

The experiment has been made of hanging two heavy 
Iron balls near together from a great height; it was 
found that they moved towards each other a very little 
(Fig. a). In so doing, however, it is clear that * 
the balls must swing up just a little from their 
lowest position ; in other words, the attractive 
force of each for the other must be great 
enough to raise them a little way against the 
force of gravity. For this reason only very 
heavy masses will so swing toward each other, 
and even they will not move far from the ver- 
tical line. (i6 A ^) 

Now we see why bodies fall : It is because they are 
pulled down by a force. And this force is only one of 
the 'properties' which all matter has In common. The 
earth, being so much larger and so near, exerts this force 
more stronglv than any other body, so that all things on 
the earth stay on it or fall toward It when free to fall. 
When we are speaking of this attraction with reference 
to the earth, we call It gravity. If It were not for this 
force of gravity, no moving body would remain long on 

lyS The Principles of Teaching 

the earth. We should jump up and keep on going, toss 

up our hats and never see them again. A ball would stay 

as well beneath a shelf as on top of it ; in fact, we should 

have no need of shelves, for things would stay anywhere." 


For Further Reading 

C A. McMurry and F. M. McMurry, The Method of the 
Recitation, Chapters VII-XIV inclusive. 

W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, Chapter XIII 


Responses of Conduct : Moral Training 

Preparatory, Elements of Psychology, §§ 50-55 

§ 40. Education and Conduct 

The springs of conduct are the instincts given by na- 
ture and the ideas given by education. The actual direc- 
tion v^^hich the stream of behavior takes is represented by 
the habits one acquires. "The good and efficient character 
implies the subjugation of those instinctive tendencies to 
action which injure oneself or others, the energetic action 
of desirable ones, the presence of worthy ideals and the 
connection of these with appropriate acts, a multiplicity of 
useful habits, the power to see and react to the element 
of a situation which will issue in an act producing the 
best results, the power to react to barren abstractions such 
as ought, right and true, the power to delay decision until 
enough evidence is in to warrant one in deciding, the 
power to refrain from delaying it too long, and the power 
to stand the strain of effort implied in choosing a relatively 
unattractive course of behavior. 

"The Elements of Moral Training. — ^The training of 
character Is correspondingly complex. Useful instincts 
must be given a chance to exercise themselves and become 
habits. Harmful instinctive responses must be inhibited 
through lack of stimulus, through the substitution of 
desirable ones or through actual resultant discomfort, as 



i8o The Principles of Teaching 

best fits each special case. The mind must be suppHed 
with noble ideas through the right examples at home, in 
school, in the world at large and in books. These ideas 
must be made to issue in appropriate action or they may 
be worse than useless. The capacity to examine any 
situation and see what the essential fact in it which should 
decide action is, must be constantly exercised and guided. 
The habits of letting Tt is right' or Tt is best' or Tt will 
be for the real welfare of the world' or the like, be an 
absolutely final warrant for action must be firmly fixed. 
The will must be prevented alike from precipitate re- 
sponses and from dawdling indecision. The power to 
banish from mind attractive but unworthy ideas, and to 
go on one's way regardless of the effort involved in so 
doing, must be gradually built up. Especially important 
is the actual formation of definite habits. If a man does 
what is useful and right he will soon gain proper ideas 
of social efficiency and of morals. If he learns to do the 
right thing in a thousand particular situations, he will, so 
far as he has the capacity, gain the power to see what act 
a new situation demands. If he is made to obey a thou- 
sand particular This is right's' and 'That is right's' he 
will, so far as he has the capacity, come to connect 
respect and obedience with the abstractly right and true. 
If he does what he has to do well and treats his fellow 
beings as he should in the thousands of situations of the 
ordinary course of life, he will gain the power to con- 
quer attractive counter-impulses." [60] 

Moral Training in Schools. — The problem of moral 
training in day schools is still further complicated by the 
fact that pupils are under the teacher's control only one- 
fourth of their waking hours, that there are thirty or 
forty different moral natures for one teacher to help, that 

Responses of Conduct: Moral Training i8l 

the present demands of schools in the shape of Intellectual 
education reduce moral training to an incident, a by- 
product, of school work. A teacher is also limited in the 
means at his disposal for moral training. The tone of 
the family, the treatment received from friends, public 
opinion and practice, and hopes and fears of supernatural 
mtervention in life or after death have been and are the 
chief means of moral influence. Of the four, the teacher 
can count only upon the second to the extent that he him- 
self wins the position of a friend and upon the third to 
the extent that he can by the selection of pupils, by wise 
legislation and by personal influence modify the tone of 
the school or class. Finally, many of the desirable traits 
of character can get exercise only in the duties and 
temptations of real life. The special morality of em- 
ployer and employee, of buyer and seller, of husband and 
wife, of parents and children or of ruler and ruled 
requires in each case more than a school-room full of 
children as its adequate stimulus. 

The answer to the question, 'How can a teacher make 
his pupils all good and efficient?,' is, 'He cannot.' To ex- 
pect school education to determine moral development 
is like expecting a city water-supply to abolish all sick- 
ness. The one is a psychological impossibility as truly 
as the other is a physical impossibility. The real prob- 
lem for the teacher in the day school is rather, 'How can 
I, without neglect of the demands for intellectual training 
made by the government or parents that employ me, do 
a little of what so much needs to be done for the moral 
training of these boys and girls?' The teacher, that is, 
needs to study the principles of teaching with respect to 
moral character under the limitations of school life, since 
in the case of moral training these limiting conditions are 

l82 The Principles of Teaching 

of as much practical importance as the general principles. 

The Fundamental Laws of Teaching in the Sphere 
of Conduct. — The general principles come from the law 
of instinct, the law of habit formation, the law of selective 
thinking and the law of suggestion. 

The application of the laws of instinct and of habit 
formation to connections of conduct was clearly made 
in Chapters III, IV, V and VIII. Suffice it to note 
here that it is even more desirable in the moral than in 
the intellectual life to substitute an opposite good or harm- 
less tendency for a bad instinctive response, rather than 
to rely solely on punishment ; and that it is even riskier 
in the moral life than in the intellectual to expect that a 
situation will produce its right response unless that re- 
sponse has been put with the situation in actual conduct 
and rewarded with satisfaction. 

The law of selective thinking applied to conduct is: 
What you will do in the face of any given fact depends 
upon what element or aspect of that fact you select. The 
imion laborer who throws a stone at the strike-breaker if 
he thinks of the element, 'scab worker who cuts my wages' 
may stop and argue with him if he thinks of the element 
*one of the enemy's forces, who may be won over to our 
side.' The schoolboys celebrating an athletic victory re- 
spond to the proposal to tear down Jones' fence by tear- 
ing it down if they think only of the aspect, 'celebrate by 
a bonfire' ; by passing it by if they think only of the aspect, 
'destroying the property of a poor old workman who often 
comes out to see us practice.' 

The same situation may cause different acts according 
to what element of it the law of partial activity selects; 
hence one means of securing right acts is to teach chil- 
dren to think of that element in a situation which is 
morally the essential one. To think of copying another's 

Responses of Conduct: Moral Training 183 

work as 'stealing' may make the habit impossible to many 
pupils who practiced it without hesitation so long as they 
thought of it as 'what everyone does/ Hence to reveal 
the true moral meaning of copying may be enough to pre- 
vent it. The occasional faults and failures of children 
who are in general well disposed are very often failures 
to select the morally essential element, to put the situation 
in the proper class, to call it by its right name. 

From the law of suggestion, that 'any idea tends to 
result in its appropriate act if no competing idea or 
physical impediment prevents,' is derived the principle 
that in so far as the important thing is to get the right 
act done and in so far as the comprehension of why it is 
right and the decision to perform it are relatively unim- 
portant, to that extent suggestion is an efficient means of 
moral influence. To distract the mind of a six year old 
from the ideas that make him cowardly, — to encourage 
him to be brave by telling him that he is brave, — may thus 
be a better moral training than arguments about the folly 
of fear, which he cannot appreciate, or a rebuke for his 
cowardice, which only gives him the idea of being so. 
To take it for granted that high-school students expect 
to be honorable, — to arouse the virtues of the gentleman 
and of the lady by behaving as if they already existed, — 
is likely to be better teaching than any form of argument 
or legislation. 

This same principle implies the folly of any extended 
discussion of wrong acts which would be done only 
rarely and by a few members of a class. Such a discus- 
sion is more likely to suggest the act to pupils who would 
otherwise never have committed it than to prevent it in 
those who otherwise would. The parent's 'Do not ever 
put the fish-hooks in your ears,' and the teacher's, 'I hope 

184 The Principles of Teaching 

that no boy in my school will ever cut a live dog open to 
see its liver/ will thus do more harm than good ! 

Limitations Due to School Conditions. — The limi- 
tations which the conditions of school life set to the ap- 
plication of these principles should be obvious. The first 
are those due to numbers. John needs opportunities for 
the display of courage, but two-thirds of the class need 
to reduce their rashness. The majority must be taught 
to think of other pupils as possessors of rights, but cring- 
ing, weak Jennie needs to think of the element, 'no better 
than I.' Half need the suggestion of sympathy and good 
fellowship, but a few mean and cruel ones need stern 
justice and the surety that you, their teacher, know them 
to be bullies and will see that they get the treatment which 
bullies deserve. 

There are also those due to lack of complete control. 
The life of the home and street gives or withholds the 
stimuli to many of the instincts, good and bad, forms al- 
most exclusively the habits of behavior toward money, 
sex and many other important aspects of life, and also 
the habits of selection of elements to be acted on in the 
majority of moral situations. It also furnishes inces- 
santly moral or immoral suggestions through those most 
powerful of all suggestive forces' the example and works 
of human beings. 

The third limitation is due to the fact that the in- 
tellectual changes which teachers are expected to make in 
pupils demand nearly all of the time at the school's dis- 
posal. If five hours of Monday could be spent in 
such works of unselfishness as collecting flowers for a 
hospital, if Tuesdays could be spent in the care of younger 
children, if on Wednesdays each pupil could be led to 
work and play under the guidance of honor and justice, 
and so on through the week, an efficient teacher could 

Responses of Conduct: Moral Training 185 

form the characters of her class as she can now form 
their intellects. But learning lessons and doing experi- 
ments are at best inconvenient ways of forming the moral 
habits needed in life and at the worst are of no direct 
moral value at all. 

That the opportunities of the teacher for moral train- 
ing are fewer than he might wish is no excuse for their 
neglect. On the contrary efficient teaching will be the 
more careful to utilize those which do exist and not to 
waste any precious time or energy by depending on faulty 

The opportunities of the school may be grouped as: 
(i) opportunities for training in moral action itself 
through behavior in the class-room and in connection with 
other school activities over which the teacher has some de- 
gree of control, (2) opportunities for specific moral in- 
struction other than training in moral action itself, and 
(3) opportunities for training in moral appreciation and 
ideals through the regular school studies. 

§ 41. School Habits as Moral Training 

The Range of School Morality.— Although the 
school is not the main cause of children's conduct and is 
limited in its action on the moral life in many ways, it still 
•can influence somewhat almost every moral habit. Ath- 
letic competitions may be a school of honor and justice; 
the school recess may be a training class in the social 
virtues of courtesy, sympathy and. good fellowship ; habits 
of cleanliness of body and dress may be acquired in every 
school day. School banks for thrift, street-cleaning clubs 
for civic patriotism, school newspapers for teaching 
proper control of public expressions of opinion, and 
school contributions to chanties, are samples of the many 

l86 The Principles of Teaching 

ways in which efficient teachers use school Hfe for train- 
ing in moral conduct. 

Discipline in the Narrow Sense. — The moral habits 
connected with school work in the narrower sense, — the 
results of school discipline, — though of narrow range, 
are given constant practice and, like the equally narrow 
training of office, factory, army life or professional 
duties, may contribute important elements of character. 
The habits of punctuality, work, thoroughness, submis- 
sion of one's own impulses to the general good, of expect- 
ing a just reward for one's deeds, acting for the future 
as well as the present and fitting behavior to reality rather 
than to foolish fears and hopes — such results of wise 
school discipline have a real moral value. 

To obtain this value, however, the aim of school dis- 
cipline must be made the moral welfare of the pupils 
rather than the convenience of the teacher. Offenses 
against other pupils must be considered as objectionable 
as offenses against the teacher. The success of discipline 
must be measured by the sum of positive well doing more 
than by the absence of bad behavior. The virtues of boy- 
hood and girlhood must not be made subservient to the 
virtues of the class-room. Obedience and zeal in school 
duties must not be put on a pinnacle above honor, kind- 
ness, justice and courage. 

To the general principles of § 40 one further principle 
for school discipline may be added. Avoid making rules 
involving distinctions which the pupils cannot make. 
*No communication between pupils without special per- 
mission except in the five minutes recesses between 
periods,' a ten-year-old can understand ; the distinction 
between a period and the five minutes recess is easy. 
But 'No communication between pupils that disturbs the 
work of the class' will be beyond him. Mr. A. C. Benson 

Responses of Conduct: Moral Training 187 

relates that a boy who was rebuked for putting a dormouse 
down the neck of a very easy-going master, asked in all 
good faith, 'But how was I to know that he drew the Hne 
at a dormouse ?' Rules which vary in complex ways with 
attendant circumstances or with the motive for the act are 
unsuitable for young children and for the duller older chil- 
dren. Moral as well as intellectual progress should be 
made step by step along clear pathways. 

§ 42. Specific Moral Instruction 

Moral Stimulation a Means, Not an End. — Morality 
consists of habits of action and there is no sure way to 

secure habits of action but by action. We become 

truthful by telling the truth, courageous by facing the 
danger. The cure for stinginess is to give; for cruel- 
ty, acts of mercy and kindness. Ideas of the right and 
desires to do the right are valuable only as steps toward 
actually doing it. To learn what is right and reject it re- 
moves one a step further from virtue than he was before. 
To desire to do a certain worthy act and yet come no 
nearer doing It is to form one of the most immoral of 
habits, that of wasting one's moral emotions. Specific 
moral instruction, whether it be a calm scientific discus- 
sion of what is good and of what consequently our duty 
is, or a passionate inspiration to better ideals through the 
appreciation of concrete cases of heroism, self-denial, 
honor and love, Is only a means toward the end, moral 

The Value of Specific Instruction. — How useful a 
means such specific Instruction as may be given in schools 
is, nobody knows. It is universal In French schools, and 
very rare In this country ; yet no one has traced to school 
training any moral superiority of French over American 

l88 The Principles of Teaching 

life. It is heartily advocated by many thoughtful people 
and laughed by others equally thoughtful. 

To some extent it Is true, as the latter would claim, 
that one's moral life, like one's digestion, gets on best 
when one thinks as little as possible about it. Just as 
to go outdoors, to take exercise and to eat plain food are 
good for the digestion but to think about what to do for 
it is extremely bad, so, they would say, to do what you 
ought is good for your moral life, but to think about what 
is good for it, is bad for it. Aloreover acute students of 
human nature are more and more leaning toward the 
doctrine that conduct influences our feelings more than 
feelings influence conduct. 'Act toward 3^our neighbor 
as you would toward yourself and you will come to love 
him' is as true as, 'Love your neighbor as yourself and 
you will come to act rightly toward him,' they tell us. 
For a boy to learn to appreciate honor and as a conse- 
quence to tell the truth is, they would say, not so common 
a sequence as for a boy to tell the truth and as a conse- 
quence to learn to appreciate honor. Some would go so 
far as to assert that the only moral sentiments worth hav- 
ing were sentiments which came as a result of right ac- 
tion. *A man's conscience is not the producer but the 
product of his career.' 

On the other hand it may safely be said that (i) on 
the basis of their natural moral tendencies and previous 
moral experiences children can be taught what Is right 
'for the same reasons that they can be taught what is true ; 
that (2) Interests can be aroused In being honorable and 
just and kind for the same reasons that Interests can be 
aroused in being well-informed and skillful; and that (3) 
vv'hile nothing save conduct can finally determine charac- 
ter, the Ideas and Insight which specific school Instruction 

Responses of Conduct: Moral Training 189 

in morality can give may be most useful stimuli to right 

§ 43. The Moral Effects of School Studies 

The advocates of each school subject are fond of 
asserting that it not only gives valuable knowledge and 
habits of thought but also strengthens the will and en- 
iightens-4he conscience. If we are to believe them arith- 
metic makes you truthful; science makes you patient; 
geography makes you love your neighbors in the Philip- 
pines as yourself; history makes you humble and brave 
and honorable; literature stirs every noble emotion and 
gives birth to all the virtues. 

^. There is no doubt that the primarily intellectual work 
of learning the school subjects does produce secondarily 
certain moral results. But there is also no doubt that 
such statements as those given are gross exaggerations. 
It is necessary In estimating the moral effect of any study 
to bear in mind : ( i ) That a certain habit formed in con- 
nection with a schoof subject will rarely extend far be- 
yond it. We must not base hopes of moral education 
upon the false dogma of formal discipline (see Chapter 
XV). (2) That there is a fundamental difference be- 
tween getting Ideas of what Is good and wishing to be 
good. The first is a response of knowledge ; the second, 
of attitude. (3) That there Is an equal difference be- 
tween wishing to be good and being good. The latter is a 
response not of. attitude, but of action. (4) That the 
aesthetic emotions do not necessarily or even often pre- 
dispose to their real counterparts. A boy may read tales 
of courage with appreciation and still be timid ; a girl 

igo The Principles of Teaching 

may adore a virtue in the heroine and practice its opposite 
none the less the next day. 

With these four warnings to preserve us from over- 
estimating the moral effect of studies and from expecting 
it in the wrong places, a just idea may be obtained of 
what the school studies can do for moral education and 
of how they may be taught so as to fulfill that function. 

The Semi-Moral Habits. — Intellectual-moral habits 
such as accuracy, thoughtfulness, persistence, patienpe, 
neglect of necessary discomfort and intellectual justice 
or open-mindedness, can be cultivated through school, 
work. These habits are primarily restricted to the 
special data with which they are acquired and the extent 
to which they evolve into general habits w^ll depend upon 
the principles stated later in the chapter on Formal Dis- 
cipline. The principles for teaching with respect to 
them are the same as for purely intellectual habits and 
have been sufficiently treated in Chapters III, IV, V and 
VIII. No one study should have a monopoly of these 
semi-intellectual virtues. It may be most convenient to 
teach accuracy in arithmetic but it should be taught in 
every lesson about facts. Perhaps one can learn history 
without securing a gain in open-mindedness such as phys- 
ical science gives, but he ought not to. 

Geography. — Knowledge of the life of man such as 
is given in geography and general reading, though it by 
no means implies sympathy and justice toward one's fel- 
lows or eft'orts to be like the best, does have moral value, 
because a certain amount of wrong-doing is due not to 
ill-will but to ignorance. The mistaken philanthropy,^' 
which sends flannel night-gowns to equatorial negroes, the 
careless folly which insults the deepest feelings of the 
Chinese by removing ancestral tombs to make way for a 
railway, the narrow-minded prudery which insists on 
European habits of dress and conduct in the South Sea 

Responses of Conduct: Moral Training 191 

islanders and thereby destroys a natural and true mod- 
esty — these are all faults which knowledge should have 
cured. Moreover, one cure for the vices of suspicion, 
irrational hatred and careless neglect and one means to 
the virtues of social spirit, cooperation and sympathy is 
mutual acquaintance. For the rich to know the life of 
the poor, for the employer to know the life of his em- 
ployees, for the American to know the life of the German, 
for the European to know the life of the Asiatic — is a 
moral as well as an intellectual gain. 

History and Literature. — The study of human life in 
biographies and history serves morality by teaching two 
great lessons : the first, that on the whole and in the long 
run public esteem is given to moral greatness, not to 
wealth or position or success ; the second, that the world 
is more than a place where you eat and sleep and endure 
work for the sake of a few cheap animal pleasures, that 
it is full of great issues, unselfish motives and heroic 
deeds. It also presents moral incentives in the efficient 
form of attractive ideals of character and action. 

To realize that to the great judge, the future, and to 
the best people of the present, character far outweighs 
material success or social prestige is possible for even a 
ten-year-old child and may be a real source of conduct 
for boys and girls in their 'teens. It reinforces the wis- 
dom of the better homes and offsets the vulgar emphasis 
of material success in the worse. To learn concretely 
day by day that the rich of the past are not worthy of 
mention, that the powerful are judged by the ways 
they gained and used their power, that what men do 
for others is the measure of true success — this may mean 
for many boys and girls a changed moral judgment, 
a new insight into the moral essentials of their own con- 

192 The Principles of Teaching 

The life of the average household and of the average 
community is necessarily commonplace. It may be mor- 
ally good or it may be sordid and bestial, but it is in either 
case commonplace. It does not enlarge the range of 
effort or stir the mind ; it excites to only the conventional 
virtues or vices. The conventionally good and the con- 
ventionally bad alike need to learn of the great moral 
problems that men and women have had to face and of 
the acts of faith and love and honor and duty and courage 
and sacrifice which have enriched the world. For those 
who have known only the commonplace good, the good 
\ needs to be made a great and important and inspiring 
fact. For those who have known chiefly the sordid and 
vulgar side of life, history and biographies supply a new 
faith in life and hope for the future. 

A word of warning is necessary here. To give some- 
thing beyond the commonplace must not be to demean 
the commonplace. The honest day's work of the laborerj 
the cleanliness and thrift of the housewife, mere honesty 
with respect to money, avoidance of quarreling, speaking 
well of one's neighbors, supporting the church and the 
other common duties of the common man's life are as 
valuable morally as the martyr's choice of death, the 
hero's renunciation of wealth and fame or the stand of 
the three hundred at Marathon. If learning the goodness 
of the great were to weaken respect for the steady vir- 
tues of the many, it had better remain unknown. Indeed 
to show the real dignity of the ordinary moral acts, their 
essential community with the rare and exciting heroisms 
of history, and to enforce the lesson that the character 
acquired by everyday conduct is the character that con- 
quers in great emergencies and crises, is an essential ele- 
ment of good teaching of the moral aspect of history. 

Responses of Conduct: Moral Training 193 

For all of us the most efficient presentation of a moral 
principle is usually through a personal life, and for chil- 
dren that is almost the only way. They live morally by 
models far more than by rules. The boy can try to be 
like Washington and Lincoln and Lee who could hardly 
understand and would soon forget a description of 
patriotism. It is then no small advantage that history can 
fill the mind with noble ideals, and make it acquainted 
with characters in whose presence the flippant excuses 
and tawdry ambitions of weak men and women seem un- 
worthy of attention. 

The study of human life in literature has in general 
the same moral influence as in history and biography. 
The differences are that the moral lessons from literature 
are less vigorous (especially to older students) in so far 
as they are felt as matters of fiction, but are simpler and 
hence clearer, and are of wider range. 

The best methods of securing the moral values of 
geography, history and literature are not surely known. 
Oux^randparents were taught to make solemn reflections 
on their duties; our parents had the moral of each event 
clearly pointed out ; the best present practice is to allow or 
encourage such comments by the pupils as are expressions 
of real feeling but never to force them. There is something 
to be said in favor of leaving the subject matter of litera- 
ture to speak for itself and permitting moral deductions 
only from facts. It is risky to teach children, Thinking too 
much of revenge is bad ; see what happened to Shylock,' 
for the feeling of the unreality of the fiction which will 
sooner or later come will tend to diffuse over the maxim 
itself. Moreover it is a bad habit to use anything but 
facts as a reason for anything. The risk is not, however, 
so great as it seems logically to be, for with little children 


194 The Principles of Teaching 

the maxim may be kept and the illogical reason for it 
forgotten, and with anyone who can distinguish fact from 
fiction the illogical reason is usually thought of only as a 
suggestion or illustration, not as a reason at all. The 
high-school girl does not think, 'Revenge is bad because 
Shylock found it to be so,' but more nearly, 'Revenge is 
bad for reasons with which I am not now concerned ; the 
tale of Shylock is a striking illustration in fiction.' 

In closing this chapter I venture to remind the reader 
that, quite apart from moral influences through direct 
training in conduct, specific lessons about morality and 
the moral significance of the usual school studies, school 
education has a high moral value. To give anyone some 
useful work to do in the world is in itself to help him 
morally. The school is thus a moral force by securing 
useful intellectual activity and encouraging habits of 
efficient work and worthy interests for leisure hours. 
Even though a school should restrict its direct aim to in- 
tellectual training and should never say a "word or do a 
thing about virtues and vices, it would still make for 
morality in the sense that labor in business or in the 
household or impersonal activities of any sort make for 

§ 44. Exercises 

1. What are some instincts which have a moral as 
well as or instead of an intellectual significance? 

2. Write, in from seventy-five to one hundred and 
twenty-five words, a statement of the principles of habit 
formation as applied to moral education. 

3. Recall your answers to Exercises 39, 40 and 41, of 


4. Give two illustrations of wrong acts due to re- 
sponding to the wrong element or aspect of a situation. 

Responses of Conduct: Moral Training 195 

5. How may the law of selective thinking explain 
the common fact of two people, both of the highest mor- 
ality, acting in opposite ways with respect to a certain 
moral issue? 

6. How may the same fact be explained by the fact 
of apperception, i. e., the fact of differences in knowledge 
in the two individuals? 

7. What criticism would you make of discussing the 
impropriety of suicide in a text-book on morality for 
boys and girls ? This is done in some French text-books. 

8. What principle of psychological fact supports the 
following recommendations made in Fitch's Lectures on 

'To say 'T ought to be obeyed" Is to invite him to 
discuss the grounds of your authority, perhaps to dispute 
it.' [61] 

Tt is not well in laying down a school rule to say any- 
thing about the penalty which will fall upon those who 
transgress it.' [62] 

9. Do you think It would be well to have, as the 
French schools do, regular text-books on morality ? Write 
from thirty to sixty words justifying your answer. 

10. What will be the probable moral effect on pupils 
of each of these practices? 

a. Punishing an entire class for the offense of one 01 
a few. 

b. So-called ^putting children on their honor,' i. e., 
requiring that they themselves at the close of the day or 
week tell whether or not they have broken school rules. 

c. Making the general docility and good behavior 
of a child a partial determinant of the mark given him for 

11. Into what two groups would you divide the 
following acts of a girl in school? 

ig6 The Principles of Teaching 

a. Whispering without permission. 

b. Tormenting a younger child. 

c. Steahng candy. 

^ d. Eating it in school. 

e. Tardiness. 

f. Cheating. 

g. Laziness. 

12. What is the essential difference between the two 
groups ? 

13. What difference should be made in the treatment 
of the two groups besides greater severity for the more 
serious oft'enses? 

14. A number of parents, teachers and children w^ere 
asked the question, 'What is the worst fault in children ?' 
.The parents said most often, 'Disobedience' ; the children, 
'Cruelty'; and the teachers 'Lying >and Inattention.' 
What is the relation between 'troublesome to me' and 
'wrong' in the mind of the average person? 

15. Should the rew^ards and punishments of school 
be administered for the sake of the convenience of the 
teacher or for the sake of the moral development of the 
scholar ? 

16. Give one or two illustrations of violations of the 
principle implied in your answer ? 

17. What moral loss is supposed to come from per- 
mitting students to help each other in their work? 

18. What moral gain might come from permitting 
and even encouraging mutual aid? 

19. Why are the activities of the recess period, of the 
athletic field and of student organizations especially im- 
portant for moral training? 

20. Name four or five ways in which real moral 
action outside of class-room duties can be stimulated and 
directed by the school without making impracticable de- 
mands upon the time and energy of teachers. 

Responses of Conduct: Moral Training 197 

21. What paragraph in § 40 states the same doctrine 
as the last sentence of this quotation : 

''How is it when an alternative is presented to you for 
choice, and you are uncertain what you ought to do? 
You first hesitate, and then you deliberate. And in what 
does your deliberation consist? It consists in trying to 
apperceive the case successively by a number of different 
ideas, which seem to fit it more or less, until at last you 
hit on one which seems to fit it exactly. If that be an 
idea which is a customary forerunner of action in you, 
which enters into one of your maxims of positive be- 
havior, your hesitation ceases, and you act immediately. 
If, on the other hand, it be an idea which carries inaction 
as its habitual result, if it ally itself with prohibition, then 
you unhesitatingly refrain. The problem is, you see, to 
find the right idea or conception for the case." [63] 

Professor James says in one of his lectures : 

'This leads to a fourth maxim. Don't preach too 
much to your pupils or abound in good talk in the ab- 
stract. Lie in wait rather for the practical opportunities, 
be prompt to seize those as they pass, and thus at one 
operation get your pupils both to think, to feel and to do. 
The strokes of behavior are what give the new set to the 
character, and work the good habits into its organic 
tissue. Preaching and talking too soon become an in- 
effectual bore." [64] 

22. How much preaching is 'too much'? 

2^. What are some of the 'practical opportunities' of 
the school for moral training? 

24. Why is it 'the strokes of behavior' that give the 
new set to the character? 

For Further Reading 

E. A. Kirkpatrick, Fundamentals of Child Study, Chapter XI. 
W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, Chapter XV, 
and pp. 229-301. 

H. Spencer, Education, Chapter III. 
J. MacCunn, The Making of Character, 


Responses of Feeling 
§ 45. The Real Emotions 

The general laws which control responses of thought 
and of action control also responses of feeling. The 
work of education is to preserve desirable instinctive 
emotional responses by giving them exercise and reward- 
ing them with pleasure, to eliminate the unfit ones and to 
form habits of feeling the right feeling at the right time. 
The principles stated in the chapters on instinct, interest, 
apperception and habit are then applicable to the emo- 
tions. Since their application will be clear from previous 
chapters, the present chapter will state only the special 
principles peculiar to responses of feeling. 

Instincts of Emotional Response. — Some of the 
most beneficent qualities of human nature are given by 
nature in the instincts of sympathy, affection, courage, 
joy and maternal love. Social life is based largely on 
these. They are too precious to be lost by disuse or by 
careless education. Although life outside the school 
must always be chiefly responsible for the cultivation of 
these virtues, the school should make the most of what 
opportunities it does have. If the life of the class-room 
is destitute of sympathy, happiness, courage and love, it 
is offering a pitifully incomplete education. Good teach- 
ing will provide exercise for these instinctive emotions 
as well as for the native intellectual capacities. 


Responses of Feeling 199 

So also envy, jealousy, fear, delight in cruelty, and the 
like must be eliminated as well as ignorance or dis- 
obedience. Good teaching will substitute honest rivalry 
and sympathy for envy and jealousy and inhibit delight 
in cruelty by cultivating the opposing habits of care and 

Ambition, pride, anger and the other emotions which 
are good or bad according to their objects should be 
directed as carefully as the capacities to observe, remem- 
ber and argue. To hate aright is as necessary as to in- 
fer aright. ''The great secret of education," says Adam 
Smith, **is to direct vanity to proper objects." [65] 

Habits of Emotional Response. — To arouse a given 
emotion in connection with a given situation, e. g., to 
make a person feel gratitude at the thought of the revolu- 
tionary heroes, we may use one of three methods, (i) 
Ideas that have in the past been connected with the emo- 
tion may be aroused. For instance a teacher properly 
expects an announcement of a favorite excursion to be 
greeted with joy. (2) The emotion may be communi- 
cated through imitation. If the teacher and half of the 
class are thrilled with admiration for a member of the 
class who has honorably confessed his unfairness toward 
a classmate, the rest of the class will be more likely to 
admire him also. (3) The bodily response characteris- 
tic of the emotion may be aroused. Let the frightened 
one walk steadily toward the enemy, looking him square 
in the eye, shouting in a loud voice, "I'm not afraid of 
you, I'll eat you alive," and brandishing his weapon as 
if about to knock down an elephant — and fear may 
be replaced by courage. If the kindergarten teacher who 
feels disgust at a dirty misshapen baby whose face is 
covered with sores and pimples will treat him Just as she 
would a dainty, red-cheeked picture of health and clean- 

200 The Principles of Teaching 

liness, take him on her lap, pet him, smile at him and 
caress him, she will often find disgust giving way to toler- 
ance and even to affection. 

This last is indeed the surest way to secure the pres- 
ence of an emotion. In the long run our feelings grow 
into harmony with our conduct. Greed cannot live un- 
supported by greedy acts ; the manifestation of love begets 
it; get pupils to act as they would if the emotion was 
-felt and they will feel it, or, if they do not, will not need 
to. For in any case they will have the really valuable 
feature of the emotion, its influence on conduct. 

The function of emotions should be to rest and 
recreate body and mind or to impel to and invigorate 
thought and action. To merely feel an emotion for its 
own sake is always a luxury and often a vice. For chil- 
dren to love their native land should mican to study its 
history; to admire a hero should mean to defend the 
smaller child and give justice to one's comrades. The 
majority of the real emotions do not rest body and 
mind. On the contrary some of them are our most fa- 
tiguing experiences. So in general the real emotions 
should be aroused only for the sake of action. With the 
aesthetic or -pseudo-emotions the practical question is 
more complicated and unsettled. 

§ 46. The Aesthetic Emotions 

The two questions, 'What is the use of the emotions 
children feel in reading a story or looking at a picture or 
hearing music?' and, 'What sorts of emotions should be 
encouraged in such situations?' will produce various an- 
swers from students of education or students of psy- 
chology or critics of the arts. Indeed there would be 

Responses of Feeling 201 

little agreement amongst opinions about what children do 
feel in reading stories and the like. 

The commonest opinion among teachers is that the 
emotions aroused by the arts have a moral value and that 
the poem or picture should arouse an emotion closely re- 
sembling the corresponding real emotion. Such teachers 
encourage children to talk about a story as if it were a 
series of real events, to express their opinions of the char- 
acters as if they were residents of the next town. If the 
work of art involves any human or apimal actions or con- 
ditions such teachers seek to arouse esteem, love, pity, in- 
dignation and other such social emotions by it; if it in- 
volves only descriptions of inanimate nature they still 
aim at securing from it feelings of approval, disapproval, 
peace, joy and the like; even in the case of music, they 
are tempted to such comments and questions as : 'That 
makes you feel sad and earnest, doesn't it? This ought 
to make every boy and girl feel like working. Now we 
will sing something that will make everybody feel merry 
and gay.' 

Popular opinion takes much the same view as this, 
but as a rule sets aside certain works of art as simply 
recreative, useful only as innocent pleasure. 

Many of the expert critics of literature, painting and 
music reject this view as intolerable. To ask a use for art 
is insulting ; it is its own excuse for being, they say. When 
asked if this means any more than that it gives refined 
pleasure, they may even assert that it should be studied 
even if it gave pain to everybody. They would generally 
stop short of this extreme, however, and admit that it did 
serve the function of giving a very noble and specially to 
be desired form of pleasure. Of course, from this point of 
view the emotion felt toward works of art should be pure 
appreciation, a response to the aesthetic quality, not any- 

202 The Principles of Teaching 

thing like the emotions which the corresponding real 
facts should arouse. 

From the point of view of the psychologist the facts 
are lacking from which to draw conclusions about the 
kind of feelings which children do have in connection 
with works of art, the kind they ought to he taught to 
have, or the value which these feelings would possess. 
So far as the facts do go, there seems no good reason why 
children should not be taught to feel something like real 
sympathy on reading a story of courageous suffering, 
provided it does not dull or misdirect their real sympa- 
thies. On the other hand there seems no good reason 
why children should not enjoy a story merely as a story, 
a picture merely as a picture or music merely as music, 
provided such mental play does not interfere with the 
business of life. It seems too Puritanical to insist that 
a work of art should produce pseudo-moral emotions and 
too artificial to expect specific emotions of any kind to 
come often from music or always from literature. On 
the other hand it seems equally artificial to restrict chil- 
dren to mere general aesthetic feeling, whether in the 
crude form of recreative interest or in the sublimated 
form of appreciation of art for art's sake. 

The test of methods of arousing and guiding the aes- 
thetic emotions is in any case not so much the kind of 
feeling secured as the use to which it is put. That is 
good teaching of art which makes it either a stimulus to 
better conduct or a means of noble, because impersonal 
pleasure. Just how the teaching secures these results 
is more or less a matter of indifference. 

§ 47. Exercises 

I. Illustrate the inhibition of the emotion of envy 
by disuse. By positive repression. 

Responses of Feeling 203 

2. How would you make use of the method of substi- 
tution to get rid of the emotion of rage ? 

3. Is argument or distraction commonly the better 
cure for an undesirable emotional condition in a young 
child? Why? 

4. What experience is necessary before a child can 
be expected to feel awe from reading the burial service? 

5. Give two or more illustrations of the law that how 
anyone feels toward any situation depends upon how he 
has felt in the past toward that situation or toward situa- 
tions like it. 

6. (a) What emotions do we wish to have felt by 
ten-year-olds as responses to Christmas day? (b) Which 
of them are aroused by receiving presents? (c) By giv- 
ing presents? (d) Why 1:, Dickens' Christmas Carol a 
good story to read at Christmas? 

7. (a) What emotions do we wish boys and girls in 
the North to feel toward the people of the South and 
boys and girls in the South to feel toward the people of 
the North? (b) What was the effect of the history text- 
book you yourself studied ? 

8. (a) From the point of view of the emotions what 
was one advantage of the Puritan way of keeping the 
Sabbath? (b) What was one marked disadvantage? 

9. Why would it be unwise to begin the study of 
physiology in a high school by exhibiting a skeleton or 
dissecting a cat? 

10. What is the advantage from the point of view of 
this chapter of making a child's first week In school a 
week of games, stories read by the teacher, kind words, 
cheerful occupations and the like? 

11. What physical training would you give to cure 
and prevent the emotions of nervousness and worry ? 

12. Which of the three methods of securing an emo- 

204 The Principles of Teaching 

tion Is illustrated in the case of the emotion of love foi 
animals on the part of six-year-old pupils by each of these 
procedures ?-^ 

a. Having them read poems such as Stevenson's 

The friendly cow all red and white, 

I love with all my heart : 
She gives me cream with all her might, 

To eat with apple-tart. 

b. Having some of the children bring their pets to 
school and care for them there. 

c. Having at school pets, rabbits, gold fish, canaries 
and the like, for which all the class care. 

13. Illustrate each of the three methods in the case oi 
teaching loyalty to one's school. 

14. What is the value of religious ceremonials, such 
as kneeling, bending the head and preserving silence in 
church, in cultivating the religious emotions ? 

15. Which is the more likely to arouse the feeling 
that the money power is committing atrocious crimes 
against the laboring man, hearing A or hearing B? 

A. Thou shalt not press down the instruments 
of torture upon the brow of labor; thou shalt not hang 
mankind by a halter of gold. 

B. Thou shalt not press down the crown of thorns 
upon the brow of labor ; thou shalt not crucify mankind 
upon a cross of gold. 

16. What feeling would probably be aroused by hear- 
ing C? Why? 

C. Thou shalt not press down a circlet of carpet 
tacks upon the brow of labor ; thou shalt not poison man- 
kind by overdoses of gold chloride. 

17. Give one or more illustrations from teaching of 
the law that to arouse any emotion we should arouse ideas 
which have gone with that emotion? 

Responses of Feeling 205 

t8. Give one or two illustrations of mistakes made in 
teaching by putting together a fact and a feeling which 
ought to be kept apart. 

For Further Reading 

A. Bain, Education as a Science, pp. 5I~II2 and Chapter XIII, 
W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, pp. 199-228. 

Motor Expression 

Preparatory, Elements of Psychology, §§ 21-22, 25-27, 58 

§ 48. The Relation of Motor Responses to Thought and 


The Need of Motor Responses. — General psychol- 
ogy teaches that the function of mental life is to modify 
our bodily responses so as to fit them to the environment 
and secure life, satisfaction and efficiency. Only in so 
far as a man's education produces changes in his actual 
motor responses does it make him of more value to society 
as a whole ; for men influence other people only through 
their acts. No information or interest or ideal or habit of 
thought or feeling has done its v^ork until it issues in 
conduct, until it does something. Moreover, the motor 
responses which an individual makes react upon his own 
intellect and character. Not only is his thought worth 
nothing to anyone else until it alters his acts; it is also 
worth little to him. Our own movements are perhaps our 
greatest educators. At any rate they deserve a place 
beside the impressions made by the physical world and 
by the conduct of other human beings. 

The older psychology was too exclusively concerned 
with knowledge, and the traditions of education are one- 
sided in their neglect of the motor consequences of 
thought. Education must not assume that with the exist- 
ence of knowledge, its work is done ; it must test its in- 


Motor Expression 207 

fluence by the increased power to express and use knowl- 
edge. Education must arouse, control and improve 
motor as well as mental responses. The expression of 
knowledge is the only sure sign of its possession and one 
of the best means of its increase. 

True as is the principle that no act of teaching is 
complete unless it produces some motor consequences, 
that there should be 'no impression without expression, no 
reception without reaction,' it must be interpreted intelli- 
gently. Expression there should be, but speech and writ- 
ing are as truly motor as carving or modeling; a change 
in the pulse or a 'lump in the throat' is as truly motor as 
dancing in glee or cheering the flag. The inhibition of 
movement is often to be preferred above its production. 
Reaction there should be, but it may come a month or a 
year after the stimulus; it may not come in the form of 
one definite act due directly to the stimulus alone, but as a 
slight modification of behavior due to the indirect action 
of the stimulus and the cooperation of many stimuli. 

The Variety of Motor Responses. — Forms of motor 
expression are well-nigh countless. Not only the move- 
ments of the hands in drawing, painting, modeling, con- 
structing objects and the like; not only the movements of 
the vocal cords and mouth-parts in articulation, accent 
and song; but all the finer facial movements which con- 
stitute facial expression, every shrug of the shoulders, 
every alteration in breathing and pulse, the tug of the 
whole body in athletic exercises, labor and combat, and 
indeed the unnoticed, if not unknown, movements of 
muscles in the head and throat which perhaps accompany 
our most secret thoughts — all must be reckoned with In 
education. The child who whispers 'yes,' the pupil who 
keeps his eyes fixed on the teacher, the girl who blushes, 
the soldier whose heart beats more strongly at the call to 

2o8 The Principles of Teaching 

battle, the laborer who swings his hammer, the student 
who sits motionless so far as gross bodily movements go 
but with every turn of his thought reflected in tensions in 
the muscles of eyes and throat — all are fundamentally 
alike in expressing mental states that are and modifying 
mental states that will be, through motor responses. 

Although all forms of motor expression have the same 
fundamental relations to mental development, it is con- 
venient for practical purposes to separate off language, 
spoken and written, from all the other forms. The rea- 
sons for this separation are that language is particularly 
specialized, presenting a marked contrast to the rest, that 
until recently it had almost a monopoly of school educa- 
tion, and that the present problem of the teacher with re- 
spect to motor expression is chiefly to preserve the ad- 
vantages of expression through words and other language 
symbols and at the same time to enrich the work of the 
school by the use of the expressive acts of play, art and 

§ 49. Verbal Expression 

The advantages of expression by words and similar 
symbols are: 

1. Their economy of time. 

2. Their convenience. 

3. Their special fitness to express and arouse general 
and abstract ideas and judgments and knowledge of re- 

Economy of Time.— Language is the only means of 
expression that approaches thought In quickness. There 
is hardly an object that cannot be named more quickly 
than it can be drawn ; there is hardly an event that can- 
not be retold again and again in the time it would take to 
act it out in pantomime. 

Motor Expression 209 

Convenience. — The development of the random 
prattHng and noise-making of infants into articulate 
speech expressing nearly the entire realm of human ex- 
perience, is one of the greatest triumphs of the human 
species. One is tempted to think that the human species 
hit upon the best possible means of expression when one 
considers its extreme convenience. 

Oral speech can be carried on regardless of position, 
regardless of whether one is at the tirrie using arms and 
legs vigorously; it requires practically no space and no 
material but air; it expresses thought to hundreds and 
thousands at once; it produces little fatigue; it needs no 
very high degree of muscular control ; and requires not 
a great amount of time in acquisition. Written speech 
adds permanence of the expression and makes hardly 
greater demands of space, time and material. Next to 
words drawing Is probably the most convenient means of 
expression, but consider the appliances and technique re- 
quired for the graphic expression of even a very simple 
fact. In such expressive work as a good course in manual 
training offers, the space, apparatus and technical train- 
ing demanded become a most Important consideration. 
Verbal expression will always be preeminent In the school 
as It Is In life, because of its tremendous advantage on the 
side of time, space, material and technique. 

Special Uses. — Verbal expression, including technical 
symbols, Is peculiarly adapted to the expression of rela- 
tionships and general and abstract ideas. The very un- 
llkeness of the expression to the fact expressed which 
differentiates language from pictorial art gives language 
the possibility of expressing likeness, cause, condition, 
concession, and other non-representative aspects of ex- 
perience as easily as red, blue, apple, pear; of expressing 
a reference to 40,000,000 or to bravery or square root as 


21 o The Principles of Teaching 

easUy as to two, the rescue of a drowning sailor or the 
division of an apple into halves. 

Hardly in any other way could we express such facts 
as in Latin, the usages of iit or quod, or in grammar the 
function of tense and mode, or such abstract judgments as 
TT, 'is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its 
diameter,' or 'Virtue is its own reward.' In the work of 
the school the meanings of many nouns, verbs, adjectives 
and adverbs, of most prepositions and conjunctions and 
of all or nearly all pronouns and auxiliary verbs, the logic 
of arithmetic, grammar (of English and foreign lan- 
guages), algebra and geometry, the general laws of geog- 
raphy and other sciences and the facts of literature and 
history that concern human motives and moral values 
are best expressed in words or symbols for words. 

§ 50. The Activities of the Arts and Industries 

The advantages of expression by constructive and art 
activities are : 

1. Vigor, emphasis, life. 

2. Freedom from ambiguity, honesty. 

3. Power to express details of shape, color and ar- 

4. Appeal to interests in action, manipulation and 
the concrete. 

Reality. — 'Words and figures lack the vividness and 
emphasis of pictures, models and other material construc- 
tions. They do not so easily stir the emotions or so 
strongly reinforce the original experience of the object. 
The boy who says, *A bay is a body of water partly sur- 
rounded by land,' makes little impression on others and 
probably adds less to the clearness and permanence of 

Motor Expression 211 

his own ideas than the boy who makes a bay in the mud 
puddle behind the school. 

Honesty. — Construction and art are also more likely 
to be honest, to tell a clear story of knowledge or ig- 
norance. The boy may define the bay from rote memory 
and yet not be able to recognize a bay if he should see it or 
to realize its uses. The repetition of words may express 
real knowledge or only knowledge of words. The pupil 
himself also realizes the inadequacy of his knowledge of a 
fact more fully when he tries to express it in a drawing or 
model than when he answers questions about it. All ex- 
pression teaches the pupil as well as the teacher, but the 
constructive act does so in general better than the verbal. 

Special Uses. — In many cases words are relatively 
powerless. The facts concerning the mouth parts of a 
beetle, the location and direction of rivers, the colors of 
butterflies or the structure of an engine, can only clumsily 
and inaccurately and inconveniently be expressed in 
words; their natural handling is through diagrams and 
drawings. This is commonly the case with facts of shape, 
proportion, position and color and is often the case with 
facts of size. 

Interest. — With the introduction into the school of 
the constructive and art activities, there is a great incre- 
ment of motive power and zeal from the instinctive inter- 
ests in the concrete and objective, and in the manipulation 
of physical things. To write out one's ideas in words is 
more interesting than to repress them, but the motor 
process of writing is artificial and difficult and the black 
marks are so lifeless, so abstract, so remote from the real 
world that compared with the other means of expression 
writing is a dull affair. Oral language is more attractive 
because less artificial and more associated in experience 
with interesting acts and events; but drawing pictures, 

212 The Principles of Teaching 

working in sand or clay, acting a part in pantomime and 
the like, rank far higher in the scale of interest. The in- 
stincts for action, movement, possession, are behind them, 
and they do not presuppose the capacity for apprehending 
the abstract. 

Since all the forms of motor expression are useful for 
mental development, it is the privilege of the school to 
make use of whatever forms best serve its purposes. The 
monopoly which verbal expression has so long enjoyed 
should disappear. The sand pile as well as the slate can 
record thought. A class in geography should recite with 
chalk and paint brush as well as with lips. Arithmetic 
should mean measurement and diagraming as well as cal- 
culating. To make a pair of scales is often better than to 
answer questions about the principles of the balance. 

§ 51. Dangers to Be Avoided 

The dangers in the use of verbal expression are : ( i ) 
that the pupils' spoken or written words represent only 
rote memory or, at the most, a misty, inadequate notion ; 
and (2) that more useful and appropriate motor arts may 
be neglected. 

The dangers in the use of drawing, modeling, con- 
structive work and the like are : ( i ) triviality, the ex- 
pression of what is not worth while, (2) the expression of 
the wrong thing, (3) over-emphasis and misapplication 
of technique, and (4) injustice to those pupils who have 
the experience of thought and feeling in question but lack 
the technique to express it. 

Triviality. — There is a great risk that what is drawn, 
modeled, carved or woven will be from the standpoint of 
real intellectual advance non-essential. Four hours spent 
in weaving a red and blue blanket may be worth while as 

Motor Expression 213 

motor training but they express only a trifle of apprecia- 
tion of Indian industry and art. The group of pupils 
who at great expense of time constructed an elaborate 
cohort of gaily-colored clay knights on horseback may 
have been well occupied as artists, but so far as concerns 
real understanding of and feeling toward the activities of 
the medieval warrior they almost wasted their time. It is 
not enough to express something ; it must be something 
worth expressing. 

Falsehood. — A still worse error is to mistake the ex- 
pression of one thing for that of something quite different. 
A teacher who took the square inches of blanket as a 
proof of appreciation of Indian life or fancied that the 
table full of colored clay figures witnessed a real under- 
standing of the age of chivalry would probably deceive 
herself and mislead her class. These constructions prob- 
ably express ideas of the color and fashion of blankets and 
of the dress and armor of the knight, and may express 
only remembrance of certain copies seen. An elaborate 
drawing of a rabbit may be made by a student utterly 
ignorant of the essential facts of its anatomy. It is not 
enough to express something; it must be the right thing. 

Over-technique. — It is a constant temptation to em- 
phasize the workmanship at the expense of the story told 
by any art of construction. The student is encouraged to 
spend hours in drawing a sea-urchin, putting in spine by 
spine with extreme care, when a rough sketch would all- 
swer the purpose nearly, if not quite, as well. Children 
are allowed or even required to spend all their spare time 
for a week at coloring in each state on a map, mixing the 
colors with the utmost care, making all of each state of 
exactly the same hue and beginning all over if a drop of 
New York's green happens to spill on Massachusetts. 
Technical skill is a desirable thing, but it must not be al- 

214 ^^^ Principles of Teaching 

lowed to appropriate time that belongs to motor expres- 

Injustice. — Almost everyone has control of the tech- 
nique necessary to say and write with ease such words as 
he knows. But many months of study are required to 
master the means of presenting objects in perspective or 
of modeling a fair likeness of the human face in clay or of 
matching a given color with paints. Lack of capacity and 
training prevents many boys and girls from ever doing 
justice to their knowledge and emotions in drawing, paint- 
ing and constructive art. Their technique never catches 
up with their insight ; their art is never equal to their emo- 

Principles of guidance in the choice of means of ex- 
pression are necessarily somewhat vague: the question is 
almost always one of balancing advantages and disad- 
vantages. Sometimes the choice is fairly sure; e. g., a 
drawing rather than words to express the structure of the 
eye, words rather than a model to express the uses of the 
Latin word iit, a model rather than a line-drawing to ex- 
press the relation of the earth's orbit to the sun. Some- 
times it is difficult ; e. g., making maps in relief with sand 
or flat on paper, speech versus drawing and painting in 
the case of history. The teacher will get on best without 
fixed rules, keeping in mind the facts of §§ 48-51 and 
guarding against: 

1. Being over-influenced by the convenience of 

2. Being over-influenced by the attractiveness of 
manual construction. 

3. Relying on words alone to express facts of size, 
shape, proportion or color. 

Motor Expression 215 

4. Relying on words, drawing and painting alone to 
express facts of action and change. 

5. Confusing two different things, (a) construction 
for the sake of motor skill, power over technique and (b) 
construction for the sake of general mental development. 

§ 52. Exercises 

1. Make a list of ten facts which cannot profitably 
be expressed in pictures, models or the like. 

2. Make a list of five facts which cannot be so ex- 
pressed at all. 

3. Make a list of ten facts which cannot profitably 
be expressed in words or other abstract symbols. 

4. Make a list of five facts which cannot be so ex- 
pressed at all. 

5. Can a pupil express feeling and thought by 
silence ': 

6. Clearness, vividness, accuracy, completeness, con- 
venience, economy of time, permanent effect and intrinsic 
value are the qualities desirable in any means of expres- 
sion, (a) Which of them are possessed in high degree by 
drawings? (b) By models made? (c) By schematic 
diagrams? (d) By spoken words? (e) By gestures? 
(f) By written words? 

7. (a) In which years of school life is the interest in 
action strongest? 

(b) In which years is the appreciation of abstract sym- 
bols least? 

(c) In which years will the constructive arts be rela- 
tively the most valuable means of expression? 

8. Give an illustration of the wise use of each of the 
following means of expression : 

a. Pantomime. 


The Principles of Teaching 

b. Writing on a typewriter. 

c. Setting type and printing. 

d. Measuring. 

SO*- --^- 





\ I 3 i s e 7 d 1 ft) u n ttc 

Fig. 22. A graphic record of the approach of winter 























1— » 








5 g s 


Fig. 23. The comparative value of the imports into the United States from 
different countries. 

Motor Expression 


e. Weighing. 

f. Cooking. 

g. Digging. 

h. Paper folding. 

i. Making 'graphs' such as are shown in Figs. 22 and 
23 (or Figs. 3-8). 

j. Making machines. 

Fig 24. Fig. 25. 

9. Illustrate the wise use of drawing as a means of 
■expression in connection with reading, history, physiology, 
arithmetic, algebra and Latin. 

10. In which cases is it hardest to find a use for it? 

11. Illustrate the wise use of map-making in arith- 
metic, history and biology or nature-study. 

12. Which was the better teaching, that which se- 
cured drawings like Fig. 24 or that which secured draw- 
ings like Fig. 25 as expressions of knowledge of the 
meaning of the following:? 

2i8 The Principles of Teaching 

'Ipse interim in colle medio triplicem aciem instruxit 
legionum quattuor veteranarum; sed in summo jugo duos 
legiones quas in Gallia citeriore proxime conscripserat et 
omnia auxilia conlocari iussit/ 

For Further Reading 

W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, Giapters III-V 

J. Dewey, The School and Society, Chapters I and II. 

E. A. Kirkpatrick, Fundamentals of Child Studv, Chapter 


Motor Education 

Preparatory, Elements of Psychology, §§ 56-57 

§ 53. Teaching Form 

Motor responses as a means of expression of thoughts 
and feelings were discussed in Chapter XIII. Motor re- 
sponses as ends in themselves will be the topic of the pres- 
ent chapter. Pronunciation, hand-writing, drawing, sing- 
ing, painting, modeling and hand work of all sorts involve 
the existence of connections between certain stimuli and 
certain movements of the muscles: to learn these acts is 
to form these connections. The special principles of 
teaching these acts are, then, principles derived from the 
psychology of connections of motor skill. 

Form and Execution. — Any act of skill is due to two 
factors, — form and execution. An individual's form in- 
cludes whatever he can do deliberately to influence the 
movement. Thus taking long breaths between sentences, 
holding the arm and pen in a certain position, making use 
of certain ways of representing perspective, and recalling 
that by mixing brown and pink a certain shade can be ob- 
tained are matters of form. Execution includes what an 
individual does without conscious decision because certain 
movements have been connected directly, not via any in- 
tellectual processes, with certain stimuli. Thus giving a 
certain tone-color to spoken words, speed in writing and 


220 The Principles of Teaching 

the movements of the brush which give a certain curve 
are matters of execution. 

Form concerns associations in which there is an ele- 
ment of thought the connection of which with the appro- 
priate movements is easy to make or already made by 
previous experience ; the problem is to get the right idea. 
Execution concerns associations in which there is little or 
no element of thought, the connections being between sit- 
uation and movement direct; the problem is to get the 
right connection. If it is already made by previous ex- 
perience there is no problem at all ; the skill has already 
been acquired. 

General Principles. — The principles of teaching form 
are those of intellectual education generally, modified to 
meet certain special facts. The pupil needs to be inter- 
ested in the work, to attend to the instructions and ex- 
amples given, to understand and remember directions, to 
be given practice in following them and to be rewarded 
when he does ; explanation, example and drill must all be 
suited to his natural tendencies and previous experience. 
The chief modifications are three. Two of these are due 
to the fact that the idea to be gained is usually one of a 
complex position of some part of the body. Hence, ex- 
ample is usually far better than rule, imitation more ef- 
fective than explanation, and the formation of abstrac- 
tions is rarely necessary or useful. Only concrete think- 
ing about the particular things is required. The third 
modification is due to the fact that the things to be put to- 
gether are certain ideas and certain muscular acts, and 
that consequently the essential thing is what the pupil 
does. Learning how to hold the pen must include ac- 
tually holding the pen. 

Two Dangers. — The chief danger in teaching form Is 
neglect of imitation. There are so many things in school 

Motor Education 221 

work which need explanation that a teacher gets used to 
explaining everything. But young children rarely, if ever, 
learn well such things as how to hold a pen or to cut or to 
sew by being told how ; they have to be shown how. This 
does not mean that understanding what they are to do or 
even why that is the best way to do it, is not valuable. It 
is valuable for pupils to learn to follow directions about 
technique such as are given in books ; e. g., to compre- 
hend why a certain position is taken in planing, or why 
deep breaths are an essential of good form in running or 
singing. But such learning is valuable more for the 
knowledge it gives than for its direct influence in improv- 
ing form. Imitation of a concrete model is necessary to 
that end, at least with the majority of pupils. 

A second danger in teaching form is to exaggerate the 
importance of some particular way of doing a thing and 
so to spend much of the time and effort that ought to be 
given to concrete execution in insistence upon rigid ad- 
herence to some method. If we knew the one best way 
to write, the one right way to sing and the like, the de- 
votion of much time to form could well be pardoned. But 
in fact the way a child takes of his own initiative may be 
nearly as good a way for him as the method his teacher 
devotes weeks to enforcing. A moderate skepticism 
about methods of securing proper form in motor accom- 
plishments is healthy. As in reasoning many differing 
processes may all reach the same conclusion, so in motor 
skill many different ways of doing a thing may be equally 
good, one way being the best for some but another way 
the best for others. 

222 The Principles of Teaching 

§ 54. Teaching Execution 

The Principle of Habit Formation. — The principles 
of teaching execution are those of habit formation in 
general modified in so far as the peculiar nature of the 
connections, — connections between situation and move- 
ment direct, — requires. The important modification is 
due to the fact that the teacher is less able than in purely 
mental connections to put together the things he wishes to 
have go together. One of the things will always be a 
change in muscular contraction by the pupil, and to make 
a person contract a muscle when and as we will is be- 
yond our power. A teacher can, by saying 'Three and 
four are seven' often enough, make sure of the 'three and 
four — seven' connection in any ordinary pupil's thought; 
he can put the things together in the pupil's mind, by 
putting them together as stimuli to the pupil's sense 
organs. But to make sure of the connection, 'a certain 
sign on a page — singing a tone a certain exact interval 
above another,' there is no such easy way. All that can be 
done to 'put together what ought to go together' is ( i ) to 
teach the necessary form and (2) to so arrange circum- 
stances as to increase more or less the probability that the 
pupil will supply the desired movement. 

'To so arrange circumstances' may mean many things. 
Providing a copy in light ink to be traced over (in writ- 
ing) and taking pains that only correct models are heard 
(in the case of the pronunciation of a foreign language) 
are samples of the ways in which we try to predispose 
beforehand to the right act. 

All such are probably of little avail, in comparison with 
the influence of selection afterward. Execution is learned 
In the main by the 'try, try again' method, by the gradual 
selection of the successful tendency in consequence of the 

Motor Education 223 

satisfaction it brings. Execution is taught not by so 
arranging things beforehand that the right contractions 
are made, but by stimulating the pupil to many trials and 
selecting in the course of practice those which are nearest 
right. Reward good impidses is here the prime law of 
teaching. Even such methods as the tracing and the 
repetition of the model to be imitated probably possess 
more influence as selective than as impelling agencies. 
The letters in light ink tell the child when he moves his 
pen correctly and make him feel pleased, and conversely : 
the correct pronunciation remains in memory to rebuke 
our failures and to reward our chance successes with satis- 

In teaching execution then the vital principles are : ( i ) 
fitness to capacity, (2) interest, (3) abundant practice 
directed by proper instruction in form, and (4) the re- 
warding of good tendencies. 

Delayed Motor Capacities. — The capacity to make 
precise movements matures gradually. Many movements 
which would be easy for a sixteen-year-old are hard or 
even impossible for a six-year-old. The latter can, for 
instance, copy a word written on the blackboard when he 
cannot copy the same word on a sheet of paper with a pen- 
cil. The capacity to make the movements of arm and 
wrist needed in the former case is not so long delayed as 
the capacity to make the movements of wrist and fingers 
needed in the latter. A child who can learn to drive a 
nail may be unable to learn to thread a needle. 

The execution of the movements of writing with pen 
or pencil, or drawing from a copy, of sewing with an or- 
dinary sized needle, and of moving the eyes in reading 
from the ordinary primer is of course possible for chil- 
dren in the first two years of school, but it is of the order 
of difficulty for them that ruling lines one-fortieth of an 

224 The Principles of Teaching 

inch apart or threading needles or reading a book badly 
printed in Old English type would be for us. It is a form 
of cruelty, necessary perhaps, to impose such tasks on all 
six and seven-year-olds. If other things are anywhere 
nearly equal, blackboard writing, free drawing, telling a 
story with chalk or pencil and training in making large 
objects requiring no great exactitude should be substi- 
tuted, and the reading books should be printed to fit the 
children, not the traditions of composing rooms. Such 
changes would save precious time and effort. 

Apperception and Execution. — The application of 
the principle of apperception to teaching motor skill would 
seem to require that simple elementary movements be 
taught first and that the more complex ones be acquired 
as combinations of the simpler. It would seem, for ex- 
ample, that to learn to draw a ship one should learn first 
to draw straight lines, perpendiculars and simple curves, 
then to make simple shading to represent solidity, and so 
on; — that to sing one should get control of single notes, 
then of simple series of notes, scales and the like, then of 
total melodies. Plausible as this seems, it is perhaps not 
the only or the best way to apply the principle of appercep- 
tion. And it is certainly not the best way to teach chil- 
dren the motor arts. For, even if it gained much by 
systematically utilizing previous experience, it would lose 
more from its lack of interest and its failure to form con- 
nections in the way that they would later be used. 

A motor act for which no present use or bearing is 
seen, such as singing a solitary note over and over, or 
writing such exercises as are shown in Fig. 26, or drawing 
lines that express no fact of moment, can arouse little in- 
terest. And since the notes are to be used always in 
songs, the curves be written always in words and sen- 
tences, the lines to be drawn always in a picture of some- 

Motor Education 


thing, it is safe to follow the law of habit formation and 
so make them from the start. It is risky to put thino-s 




Fig. 26. 

together in ways in which they will never have to go to- 
gether later. 

It is by no means sure that the principle of appercep- 

226 The Principles of Teaching 

tion by itself alone does recommend teaching the elemen- 
tary movements before the complexes apparently made up 
of them. For the complexes many not be the simple sum 
of so many elementary movements. Drawing- a circle is 
in fact not the same as drawing a dozen arcs of it, but in- 
volves very different movements; writing Fig. 27 is not 
the same as writing Fig. 28. 

Fig. 2"]. 

Fig. 28. 

Attention and Execution. — Given a general interest 
in acquiring skill, in doing the thing in hand well, and the 
less attention to the movements themselves, the better. 
The facts to be attended to are the guiding sensations, 
chiefly those due to the changes in the thing that is being 
made. The penman, that is, should attend, so far as exe- 
cution goes, not to his fingers but to the words he writes ; 
the singer should, so far as execution goes, attend not so 
much to the feelings in her throat and chest as to the 
quality of the tone produced ; the worker should attend 
not to his arm but to the nail that he is driving in. At- 
tend to the situation and the result ; the movement will 
attend to itself. 

Teaching Scholars Self-Criticism. — Rewarding good 
impulses in motor performances is in one way much 
harder than in the case of mental habits and in another 
way much easier. It is harder because the good and bad 
tendencies are in the case of any act very numerous and 

Motor Education 227 

varied and hence each individual may need approval for 
a different excellence. In the case of most mental con- 
nections there are only a few ways — sometimes only one — 
of being right, and not very many common ways of being 
wrong. In a minute or two a teacher may let all pupils 
of even a large class feel with respect to their answers 'I 
am right — good !' or 'I am wrong — ^bad !' But in the case 
of connections of motor skill a teacher must as a rule in- 
spect each individual piece of work, stamping in desirable 
tendencies by appropriate treatment of pupils one at a 

To reward good impulses in motor training is easier in 
so far as the success or failure of his work is clearer and 
more emphatic to the pupil than it is in the case of purely 
mental connections. Children who cannot see that their 
ideas about geography or history are silly, illogical or 
mistaken in fact, may see very well that their handwriting 
is shaky, that there are blots of ink on the page, that the 
table legs they have made do not fit into the table top. It 
is easier to tell whether you have made a right angle cor- 
rectly than whether you have defined it correctly. One 
can thus learn a trade by himself more easily than a 

It is wisdom in teaching the motor arts to make this 
advantage counterbalance the disadvantage of lack of 
uniformity in product by teaching pupils from the start 
to be in part their own critics, — to themselves feel satis- 
faction and discomfort at the right times with less and 
less aid from the teacher. The teacher's This is right: 
that is bad,' should soon become, 'Which is right? What 
is bad about that drawing? What do you wish to change 
in this? Why isn't that just the way you would like it 
to be ?' When good taste is added to strong interest exe- 

228 The Principles of Teaching 

cution will progress rapidly to the limits of the pupil's 


Teaching motor arts comprises teaching form and 
teaching execution. Good teaching is catholic in permit- 
ting variations in form, distrusts explanation unassisted 
by imitation and tests knowledge of form not by questions 
about it but by its use in actual performance. Good 
teaching adapts instruction to the gradual growth of 
motor capacity, forms habits of execution in the way in 
which they will be used, and makes its chief aims interest 
and the rewarding of desirable tendencies, first by the 
teacher but as early as possible by the pupil's own taste 
and judgment. 

§ 55. Exercises 

I. Which of the following recommendations about 
teaching penmanship refer to form? Which to execu- 

a. 'That the left hand rest firmly on the paper." [66] 

b. ''That the pen be held loosely in the right hand." 

c. "That the pupils be taught to criticise the size, slant 
and space of each letter." [66] 

d. "Each slate should be carefully examined by the 
teacher, and commendation bestowed or corrections made 
as occasion may require." [67] 

e. 'Tf in the course of a writing lesson a child should 
make several errors of different kinds, it will be better to 
notice the most prominent first. Too many corrections 
will tend to confuse the scholar ; they should therefore be 
made one at a time. The teacher should make sure that 
the child knows exactly what mistake it has made ; and for 
this purpose it will be necessary to speak distinctly and 
plainly, but not in a fault-finding tone." [68] 

f. "Some teachers make a rule that when the children 

Motor Education 22g 

are writing in copy-books the whole class shall write one 
line in a certain fixed time, say five minutes ; that is, that 
all must begin a line together, and may take the allotted 
time to complete it; but if the copy should be finished 
within the time, the next line must not be begun until the 
teacher gives the command for all to begin the second line. 
Under such a system much of the time of the more for- 
ward scholars will be wasted, and the careless ones who 
hurry over their work will not be made more painstaking. 
When simultaneous lessons are being given, especially in 
the junior classes, this plan is the only one, however, that 
can be adopted ; but when the children are writing inde- 
pendently, no such restriction should be placed upon 
them." [69] 

g. 'The Small Letter, i. The teacher opens a copy- 
book at the page containing the subject of the lesson, or 
points to the letter upon Chart No. i, and explains that the 
letter i is one space in height, and is regarded as the stan- 
dard by which the height of other letters is measured. He 
then proceeds to ask questions upon the general form of 
the letter thus : 

Q. Does the first curve of this letter join the slanting 
straight line with an angle, or a turn? 

A. With an angle. 

Q. Where do they join? 

A. At the top. 

Q. What kind of a turn is formed at the base? 

A. A short turn. 

Q. What is the rule for making this turn? 

A. It should be made as short as is possible, without 
stopping the motion of the pen. 

Q. What relation does the second curved line bear to 
the first? 

A. It is made upon the same slant, and similar to it. 

Q. What finishes the letter i ? 

A. The dot. 

Q. Where is the dot placed? 

A. One space above the straight portion of the letter, 
and on a line with it. 

Q. How should it be made? 

230 The Principles of Teachin 

A. By pressing gently upon the point of the pen as 
if to begin a downward Hne, and then removing it quickly. 

Q. Are there any heavy or shaded lines in this letter ? 

A. There are none." [70] 

h. ''The pleasure experienced in personal improvement 
is in itself a powerful aid in this direction, but in order 
that the pupil may be made conscious of his daily progress, 
and thus be incited to renewed effort, a record should 
certainly be kept of his standing. 

A few moments' time before the close of the exercise, 
will suffice to record in each book the standing of the 
pupil for the day. A scale of ten may be adopted, or any 
other which may be preferred. 

The teacher rnay prefer to keep a monthly record, 
based upon a careful examination of the books. Honors 
and rewards are frequently conferred upon pupils, to ex- 
cite a commendable spirit of emulation, and to inspire 
them with a desire, not so much to excel others, as to sur- 
pass themselves. The faithful practice, and unremitting 
effort essential to progress in the art of penmanship, while 
bringing, in a measure, their own reward,, still merit 
honorable notice from the teacher." [71] 

i. "Entire classes may soon be trained to work in con- 
cert, all the pupils beginning to write at the same moment, 
and executing the same letter, and portion of a letter 
simultaneously. They will thus progress from letter to 
letter, and through words and combinations, with all the 
order, promptness and precision of military drill. 

There may be objections to any system of drill which 
would retard or increase the movements of a mature 
writer, yet children, or those first attempting the execu- 
tion of systematic letters, being unable to approximate to 
a proper speed and uniformity of pen-motion, require 
some external aid or guide, which will lead them to move- 
ments consistent with the proper formation of letters, and, 
at the same time, prove no obstacle in the way of their 
subsequent transition to the speed most easy and natural 
to each individual. 

Some pupils move too rapidiv, producing letters irreg- 
ularly, and very imperfect in form ; others write with a 
slow, indolent motion, making downward lines too heavv, 

Motor Education 231 

turns too broad, and curves uneven. When all are required 
to write at a medium and uniform rate of speed, the results 
are more perfect forms, smoother lines, and more regular 
spacing. The flirt of the pen in the termination of letters, 
so often indulged in by pupils of every grade, may thus be 
fully corrected. The counting being uniform, the motion 
will correspond to it, and sufficient time will be taken to 
form every line." [72] 

2. What are the two letters directions for writing 
which are given below? 

3. How long does it take you to make sure which they 

4. What is the general error made by the method of 
teaching penmanship illustrated by these directions? 

"First Class Letters. The type of letters of this class 
is formed by joining the concave curve (characteristic of 
the class) upon the left and right of the straight line pro- 
ducing an angle at the top and a turn at the bottom. 

Small — is formed by looping the type by a turn to the 
left at the top and crossing the first upward curve in the 
middle as its characteristic. 

Small — is formed by prolonging the type to twice its 
usual height, retracing the prolongation, and crossing it 
in the middle, as its characteristic." [73] 

Experiment 14. Close your eyes and write as well as 
you can with your left hand (right hand if you use the left 
ordinarily) some sentence of about eight or ten words. 
Keep the eyes closed and repeat the writing twenty times 
without seeing the results. In each case write as well as 
you can. Number the sheets in order i to 21. Then write 
twenty copies (still with the left hand) with eyes open, in 
each case writing as well as you can. Number them 22 
to 41. In which case did you improve most, in the prac- 
tice from I to 20 or in the practice from 22 to 41 ? Why ? 

5. Criticise the following: 

"Teacher. What are you going to do? Class. 

232 The Principles of Teaching 

To write. T. What on? C. On the copy-book. T. 
What on in copy-book? C. On the ruled hnes. T. 
What kind of lines are they? C. Straight lines. 
T. How many different positions are the ruled lines in? 
C. Two. T. What are they? C. Horizontal and 
vertical. T. Which are you going to write on? C. 
On the horizontal. T. Do you notice any other position 
of straight lines on the page ? C. Yes, the straight lines 
of the principles are oblique. T. You may call each col- 
lection of principles at equal distances a Group. What 
do the vertical lines divide the page into? C. Into 
columns. T. What are the vertical lines for? C. To 
separate the groups. T. What is the relative position 
of the horizontal lines? C. They are parallel. T. 
What else do you observe, as to their relative position? 
C. Two are near together, and then the space between is 
greater. T. What is that for? C. That we may write 
between the narrow spaces, and make the principles of the 
right height. T. Will they be of the right height if you 
do not make them touch both? C. No, sir. T. Then 
you must be very careful to attend to this. When prin- 
ciples are joined together to make letters, they are said to 
be connected; when principles are joined together inde- 
pendently, as in these groups, and when letters are joined 
together, they are said to be combined. In the copy at the 
head of the first column, what principle is written? C. 
The first. T. Is it single or combined ? C. Combined. T. 
Which is the main stroke in the principle ? C. The first 
element. T. How is the combination made? C. By the 
turn and the connecting line. T. What kind of a join 
is there ? C. The end of the connecting line touches the 
top of the next principle. T. How far, do you think? 
C. One-fourth of the height. T. This kind of join is 
called a connection. What is the first element? C. A 
straight line. T. What is a connection? C. The join- 
ing of a connecting line to a straight line. T. How long 
is a connection? C. One-fourth. T. Is that a long 
or a short distance? C. Short. T. Is it longer or 
shorter than the part of the first element which is not 
touched? C. Shorter. T. How much shorter? C. 
One-half. T. How is that? I thought you said just 

Motor Education 233 

now it was one-fourth. C. Yes, sir, one-fourth of the 
height of the principle, but you asked, 'How much shorter 
than the part of the first element not touched?' The first 
element is three-fourths of the principle, one-fourth is 
touched, so that twice as much remains untouched. 
Therefore the part touched is one-half shorter than the 
part untouched." [74] 

6. What would be some of the logical results upon 
methods of teaching oral reading of the acceptance of the 
following principle? 

"Practical mastery of time, pitch, force, quality, slides, 
etc., can be secured only by making them the outcome of 
an appreciation of the thought and feeling of that which 
is to be read. 

Definite mechanical rules regarding pitch, pauses, 
slides, etc., are usually worse than useless. Reading is 
giving expression to a state of mind ; it is not the utterance 
of a series of sounds suggested by the printed page. The 
flexibility of voice which characterizes earnest conversa- 
tion may be taken as the best example of the end to be 
aimed at in reading." [75] 

7. Criticise the following lesson from a Fourth read- 
er for "children from seven to twelve years of age" : 

Oral Elements Combined 

After the instructor has given a class thorough drill 
on the preceding tables as arranged, the following exer- 
cises will be found of great value, to improve the organs 
of speech and the voice, as well as to familiarize the stu- 
dent with dififerent combinations of sounds. 

As the -fifth element represented by a, and the third 
element of e, are always immediately followed by the oral 
element of r in words, the r is introduced in like manner in 
these exercises. Since the sixth sound of a, when not a 
syllable by itself, is always immediately followed by the 
oral element of /, n, or s, in words, these letters are here 
employed In the same manner. 

234 ^^"-' Pi'i lie i pics of Teaching 

Tonics and Subtonics 

























































































(Seven similar tables follow.) [76] 
8. What influence would learning the following have 
upon the act of reading? 

Elocution is the mode of utterance or delivery of any- 
thing spoken. It may be good or had. 

Good elocution, in reading or speaking, is uttering 
ideas understandingly, correctly, and effectively. It em- 
braces the two general divisions, Orthoepy and Expres- 

Qri ^. iQnJjuKhvL 

UiyOUAAAArrhi ' / 

Orthoepy is the art of correct pronunciation. 
It embraces Articulation, Syllabication,, and Ac- 
cent. [76] 


Formal Discipline 

§ 56. The Superstition of General Training 

The Problem. — The previous sections have consid- 
ered the particular and definite changes wrought by edu- 
cation. We have studied the means of preserving or 
ehminating particular instincts and capacities, of forming 
particular habits of attention, interest, thought and feel- 
ing, of helping pupils to acquire particular connections 
of motor response, of selecting and abstracting particular 
elements, of guiding pupils in particular inductions and 
particular deductions. The problem has been always, 
'What must be done to get this or that particular re- 
sponse ?' 

Nothing has been said about the means of making 
general changes in the capacities and powers of pupils, 
about improving the memory as a whole, or increasing 
the general capacity to concentrate the mind on any task, 
or giving the ability to reason well with any problem or tO' 
control the mind in all emergencies. 

The problem of how far the particular responses made 
day by day by pupils improve their mental powers in 
general is called the problem of the disciplinary value or 
disciplinary effect of studies, or more briefly, the problem 
of formal discipline. How far, for Instance, does learn- 
ing to be accurate with numbers make one more ac- 
curate in keeping his accounts, In weighing and measur- 


236 The Principles of Teaching 

ing, in telling anecdotes, in judging the characters of 
his friends? How far does learning to reason out 
rather than guess at or learn by heart a problem in 
geometry make one more thoughtful and logical in follow- 
ing political arguments or in choosing a religious creed 
or in deciding whether it is best for him to get married? 
How far does the habit of obedience to a teacher in school 
generate the habit of obedience to parents, laws and the 
voice of conscience ? 

The Common View. — A common answer of theor- 
ists about human life and education has been that each 
special mental acquisition, each special form of training, 
improves directly and equally the general ability. Teach- 
J ers have believed and acted on the thory that the mind 
was a collection of faculties or powers — observation, at- 
tention, memory, reasoning, will and the like — and that 
any gain in any faculty was a gain for the faculty as a 
whole. Improved attention to grammar or Latin would 
thus mean an improvement of the power to attend to any 

**The common view is that the words accuracy, quick- 
ness, discrimination, memory, observation, attention, con- 
centration, judgment, reasoning, etc., stand for some real 
and elemental abilities which are the same no matter what 
material they work upon ; that these elemental abilities are 
altered by special disciplines to a large extent ; that they 
retain those alterations when turned to other fields ; that 
thus in a more or less mysterious way learning to do one 
thing well will make one do better things that in concrete 
appearance have absolutely no community wuth it. 

The mind is regarded as a machine of which the dif- 
ferent faculties are parts. Experience being thrown in at 
one end, perception perceives them, discrimination tells 
them apart, memory retains them and so on. By training 

Formal Discipline 2.}^y 

the machine is made to work more quickly, efficiently and 
economically with all sorts of experiences. Or, in a still 
cruder type of thinking, the mind is a storage battery 
which can be loaded with will power or intellect or judg- 
ment, giving the individual 'a surplus of mind to expend.' 
General names for a host of individual processes such as 
judgment, precision, concentration are falsely taken to 
refer to pieces of mental machinery which we can once 
for all get into working order, or still worse to amounts 
of some thing which can be stored up in bank to be drawn 
on at leisure." Yj']^ 

The powers of the mind are supposed to work irre- 
spective of the data with which they work. The power 
of observation is supposed to be uninfluenced by the nature 
of the fact observed; the power to reason to be unin- 
fluenced by the nature of the problem and data ; the power 
of attention to be capable of direction toward any kind of 
object. It is even said that improvement of any one will 
improve all of the mental powers ; e. g., that learning to 
attend to Latin forms will make one not only attend but 
remember, reason and observe better than he did before. 

Its Falsity. — The observation of facts proves this 
answer to be false. It is clear that learning to attend to 
the cloth in the loom improves the power to attend to 
printed words or the anatomy of animals little, if at all ; 
that improving in addition from two hundred to two mis- 
takes per hundred examples does not reduce one's errors 
in judging character by ninety-nine per cent, of their 
amount; that gaining the power to resist the temptation 
to steal has little influence on the power to resist the 
temptation to over-eat. Improvement in one special 
power rarely, if ever, means equal improvement in general. 

238 The Principles of Teaching 

§ 57. The Specialization of Abilities 

The exact extent to which the improvement of any- 
special capacity does improve other capacities than itself 
can be estimated from two lines of evidence, one concern- 
ing the extent to which special capacities are related one 
to another in the human mind and the other concerning 
the actual effect of special training on general ability as 
found by scientific investigations. 

Common observation should teach that mental capaci- 
ties are highly specialized. A man may be a tip-top 
musician but in other respects an imbecile: he may be a 
gifted poet, but an ignoramus in music: he may have a 
wonderful memory for figures and only a mediocre mem- 
ory for localities, poetry or human faces : school children 
may reason admirably in science and be below the average 
in grammar: those very good in drawing may be very 
poor in dancing. 

Careful measurements show that the specialization is 
even greater than ordinary observation leads one to sup- 
pose. For instance those individuals who are the highest 
ten out of a hundred in observing misspellings in words 
length accurately are by no means the highest ten in the 
ability to judge differences in weights accurately^ In 
fact they are not very much above the average. The best 
ten out of a hundred in observing misspellings in words 
are not very much better off than the worst ten when we 
test their ability to observe the shape of objects. Sim- 
ilarly quickness and accuracy in thinking of the sums of 
numbers by no means implies equal quickness and accur- 
acy in thinking of the opposites of words. 

The records given below are samples of many that 
have been obtained by scientific students of education, all 
testifying to the complex specialization of human capaci- 
ties, and the existence of variations In any power accord- 
ing to the data with which it works. 

Formal Discipline 


The ranks for 30 stu- The ranks for 35 The ranks for 25 
dents throughout 4th grade girls in high-school boys in 
their college course two mental tests* discriminating lengths 


; as follows: 


as follows: 


in discriminating 

weights were as fol- 

Rank in 






Rank in 

Rank in 





Rank in 

1 Rank in 




in En- 

& Ger- 










1— 1 

















































































9 • 

























































































































































































^The two tests were: (i) in quickness and accuracy in observing 

240 The Principles of Teaching 

Many facts such as these prove that the mind is by no 
means a collection of a few general faculties, observation, 
attention, memory, reasoning and the like, but is the sum 
total of countless particular capacities, each of which is to 
some extent independent of the others, — each of which 
must to some extent be educated by itself. The task of 
teaching is not to develop a reasoning faculty, but many 
special powers of thought about different kinds of facts. 
It is not to alter our general power of attention, but to 
build up many particular powers of attending to different 
kinds of facts. 

§ 58. The Amount of Influence of Special Training 

The only sure way to find out how far special training 
produces general ability, — how far, that is, a change in 
one particular power improves others, — is to measure the 
abilities in question before and after the training in ques- 
tion, making proper allowance for the action of other in- 
fluences than the training, or to compare people who have 
had the training with people who have not, but are in 
other respects like those who have. 

Such studies have been made in the case of the powers 
of sense-discrimination, observation and attention, mem- 
ory and neatness in school work. 

Sense-Discrimination. — Bennett found that young 
children who at the end of several months of training in 
discriminating different blues had made great improve- 
ment, had improved nearly as much in telling apart dif- 
ferent degrees of saturation of other colors, but had im- 
proved little if any in telling apart lengths or weights. 

A's in a sheet of capital letters, words containing certain combinations 
of letters and the like, and (2) in quickness and accuracy in thinking 
of the opposites of words. They may be called tests of (i) observa- 
tion and (2) of association. 

Formal Discipline 241 

Woodworth and Thorndike found that adults who by 
special practice had improved greatly in their accuracy 
in estimating short lines had made no improvement in 
their power to estimate long lines ; and that adults who 
were trained in judging the size of surfaces of certain 
shapes and sizes until they had made a decided improve- 
ment, showed only about a third as much improvement 
with areas of different size and shape. 

Observation and Attention. — Gilbert and Fracker 
and Martin have shown that training in responding 
quickly to one kind of signal produces much but not equal 
improvement in the quickness of responses to a different 
kind of signal. Woodworth and Thorndike found that 
individuals who by special training had improved their 
ability to notice words containing e and s by a certain 
amount, showed in the ability to notice words containing 
i and t, s and p, c and a, e and r, a and n, 1 and o, mis- 
spelled words and A's, an improvement in speed of only 
39 per cent, as much as in the ability specially trained, 
and in accuracy of only 25 per cent, as much. Train- 
ing in perceiving English verbs gave a reduction in 
time of nearly 21 per cent, and in omissions of 70 per cent. 
The ability to perceive other parts of speech showed a 
reduction in time of 3 per cent, but an increase in omis- 
sions of over 100 per cent. 

Memory. — Different investigators of the influence of 
memory-training have reached different results, by reason, 
probably, of differences in their methods ; and there is 
some difficulty in interpreting their results. But in gen- 
eral it is safe to say that training in learning one sort of 
facts, say Shakspere's Sonnets, by heart will improve the 
ability to remember other sorts, such as names, dates, lists 
of numbers and Bible verses, to nowhere nearly the same 


242 The Principles of Teaching 

Neatness. — The only investigation which has been re- 
ported of the influence of school training itself, is that of 
Dr. Squire, who made thorough and careful observations 
of the neatness of certain classes in their school work as 
a whole, then gave in school special attention to training 
in neatness in arithmetical work until the classes reached 
a high degree of excellence in that particular, and then 
made observations as before of the neatness of the other 
written work. Dr. Bagley reports the result as fol- 
lows : — 

"At the Montana State Normal College careful ex- 
periments were undertaken to determine whether the 
habit of producing neat papers in arithmetic will function 
with reference to neat written work in other studies ; the 
tests were confined to the intermediate grades. The re- 
sults are almost startling in their failure to show the 
slightest improvement in language and spelling papers, 
although the improvement in the arithmetic papers was 
noticeable from the very first." [78] 

Practical Consequences. — From such investigations 
as these it seems clear that the disciplinary value of 
studies has been much exaggerated. The one thing of 
which a teacher can be sure is the particular information, 
the particular habits and powers, the particular interests 
and ideals which his training gives directly ; he may fairly 
expect improvement, but less in amount, in abilities closely 
like that trained ; he may hope for some in more remote 
abilities, but for less and less and finally for none as the 
ability has less and less kinship with the one directly 

The practical consequences are: First, that it is ex- 
tremely unsafe to teach anything simply because of its 
supposed strengthening of attention or memory or reason- 
ing ability or any other mental power ; when a teacher can 
give no other reason for a certain lesson or method of 

Formal Discipline 243 

teaching than its value as discipHne, the lesson or method 
should be changed. Second, that intelligence and care 
will be necessary to secure from any subject what dis- 
ciplinary value it does have ; we cannot expect that the 
mere fact that a certain subject is taught somehow will 
surely result in securing the disciplinary value which it 
may have when taught properly. 

§ 59. The Method of Iniiiience of Special Training 

To understand how best to secure what general in- 
fluence any special training does have, we must learn when 
and how the improvement of one mental function does 
increase the efficiency of other functions. In the present 
condition of our knowldge, a complete and perfectly 
definite answer cannot be given to this question, but the 
following principles are sure enough for it to be wise for 
teachers to act upon them. 

Through Identical Elements. — One mental function 
or activity improves others in so far as and because they 
are in part identical with it, because it contains elements 
common to them. Addition improves multiplication be- 
cause multiplication is largely addition; knowledge of 
Latin gives increased ability to learn French because many 
of the facts learned in the one case are needed in the other. 
The study of geometry may lead a pupil to be more logical 
in all respects, for one element of being logical in all 
respects is to realize that facts can be absolutely proven 
and to admire and desire this certain and unquestionable 
sort of demonstration. Earning one's living for three 
months may make an improvement in self-reliance in gen- 
eral, for the feelings T can do something, I have succeeded, 
I am not an incompetent,' awakened by self-support are 
one feature of self-reliance in general. Obedience to one 

244 ^^^^ Principles of Teaching 

master may make an improvement in general obedience 
by teaching the possibihty and desirabiHty of obedience 
and self-denial. So in Kipling's story, Captains Cour- 
ageous, a spoiled child who falls overboard from an ocean 
liner and is picked up by a fishing smack is made sensible 
and obedient forever after by his experience of necessary 
submission to the rules of life enforced by the Yankee 

Of the millions of situations with which life confronts 
us many are duplicates, many are identical in important 
features and still more have something or other in com- 
mon. One business is in part identical with another busi- 
ness ; the sciences overlap ; the poet and the musician 
have somewhat the same task ; the concrete habits adapted 
to life in the country are not all useless in the city; the 
situations of school are not much like those of the factory 
or farm but they are not totally different ; the process of 
translating a sentence from Choctaw may have some com- 
munity with the process of choosing a candidate on elec- 
tion day. Where the community is great, the possibility 
for the use in one process of ability gained in some other 
process is great; where the identical elements are but a 
fraction of the whole, the possibility is little. 

These identical elements may be in the stuff, the data 
concerned in the training, or in the attitude, the method 
taken with it. The former kind may be called identities 
of substance and the latter, identities of procedure. 

Identity of Substance. — Thus special training in the 
ability to handle numbers gives an ability useful in many 
acts of life outside of school classes because of identity of 
substance, because of the fact that the stuff of the world 

* Such a case is perhaps more like fiction than truth, for as com- 
mon an event in real life would be that the spoiled child would retain 
a grudge against the captain of the fishing boat and would work out 
his spite on his parents also, his last state being worse than his first. 

Formal Discipline 245 

is so often to be numbered and counted. The data of the 
scientist, the grocer, the carpenter and the cook are in 
important features the same as the data of the arithmetic 
class. So also the ability to speak and write well in class- 
room exercises in English influences life widely because 
home life, business and professional work are all in part 
talking and writing. 

The identity is however not so great as the advocates 
of the disciplinary value of composition and language 
study would perhaps ask us to believe. To write 'letters 
to a friend' or 'stories about a day in the country' or 'es- 
says on the characters in the The House of Seven Gables* 
is not the same thing as to write an efficient business pro- 
posal, or to keep a physician's record of cases, or to make 
a captivating advertisement. Nor is the ability to speak 
in language classes identical with the abiiity to speak to 
jurymen in a law court or to persuade voters. 

Identity of Procedure. — The habit acquired in a lab- 
oratory course of looking to see how chemicals do behave, 
instead of guessing at the matter or learning statements 
about it out of a book, may make a girl's methods of cook- 
ing or a boy's methods of manufacturing more scientific 
because the attitude of distrust of opinion and search for 
facts may so possess one as to be carried over from the 
narrower to the wider field. Difficulties in studies may 
prepare students for the difficulties of the world as a 
whole by cultivating the attitudes of neglect or discomfort, 
ideals of accomplishing what one sets out to do, and the 
feeling of dissatisfaction with failure.^ 

* Here again the advocates of the disciplinary value of studies are 
likely to overestimate the probability of the acquisition of these ex- 
tremely valuable ideas and ideals of method and attitude, especially 
by young children. Such may come from special discipline with one 
study or another, but unfortunately they rarely do. The majority of 
school bovs do their laboratory tasks step by step because they are 
told to ; theii ideas of method being not much more than, 'In history 

246 The Principles of Teaching 

The Means of Securing Disciplinary Value.— The 
practical consequences of these facts about the method 
by which special disciplines do attain more or less gen- 
eral results, about the how of formal discipHne, are that to 
get the most disciplinary value from any study teachers 
must select those facts for study which have the most ele- 
ments in common with life as a whole or which develop 
best ideas and ideals of attitude and methods which will be 
useful in life as a whole, and must take special pains that 
these features of general value are really taught. Other-- 
wise, even where formal discipline is a psychological pos- 
sibility, it may not be a reality of education. In the case 
of the features of attitude and method, taking special pains 
that they are taught means in practice requiring their ap- 
plication to varied situations, for we can never be sure 
that a general idea or ideal or attitude is gained until we 
test it in application. Moreover in nine school children 
out of ten the only way that an ideal or attitude does be- 
come general is by being derived from and again applied 
to many different particular cases. To make ideals and 
attitudes operative in all fields the teacher must give them 
exercise in at least several fields. 

The facts that the mind is so specialized into a multi- 
tude of independent capacities that we alter human nature 
only in small spots, and that any special school training 
has a much narrower influence upon the mind as a whole 
than has commonly been supposed may seem discouraging. 
It may dishearten the teacher to be compelled to think that 
the gain in power in arithmetic, grammar or translation 
does not pass over to all other capacities and powers. 

you learn out of a book, in chemistry you watch things boil and take 
notes, in Latin you try things until you get something like it.' The 
majority of students learn from the difficulty of studies only the 
special habits. 'I must do this Latin for if I don't I will only have to 
do more next year : I must do this grammar for if I don't I'll only 
have to stay after school.' 

Formal Discipline 2^y 

There is however, no real cause for discouragement in 
finding out these facts. There will be as much disciplin- 
ary value to studies as there ever was ; indeed more, for 
having found out how little there is and how that little is 
obtained, teaching is more likely to have general value 
than it was so long as we trusted that the subjects them- 
selves would in some mysterious way improve the mind as 
a whole. The really discouraging thing would be for 
teachers to delude themselves into wrong choices of sub- 
ject matter and unwise methods on the basis of false no- 
tions about the influence of improvement of one mental 
function upon others. 

It is perhaps unfortunate that learning to Qo one thing 
well does not make anyone do everything else much better, 
that the mind does not repay us ten thousand per cent, on 
our investments of time and labor. But the mind gives 
just as much interest after we abandon the superstition 
of formal discipline as it ever did ; and the knowledge of 
what its rate of interest is and of which investments pay 
the most can be only a cause for encouragement. 

At all events, whether or no we get as much general 
improvement from special training as we might wish, 
what we do get comes in no other way. Each special 
task adds its mite to the general store. Intellect and 
character are strengthened, not by any subtle and easy 
metamorphosis, but the establishment of particular 
ideas and acts under the law of habit. There is no way 
of becoming self-controlled except by to-day, to-morrow 
and all the days in each little conflict controlling oneself. 
There is no possibility of gaining general accuracy and 
thoroughness except by seeking accuracy in every situa- 
tion, by trying to be thorough in every task, by being ac- 
curate and thorough rather than slip-shod and mediocre 
whenever the choice is offered. No one becomes honest 

248 " The Principles of Teaching 

save by telling the truth, or trustworthy save by fulfilling 
each obligation he accepts. No one may win the spirit 
of love and service, who does not day by day and hour by 
hour do each act of kindness and help which chance puts 
in his way or his own thoughtfulness can discover. The 
mind does not give something for nothing. The price of 
a disciplined intellect and will is eternal vigilance in the 
formation of habits. 

Moreover, if special training does not give large divi- 
dends, they are safe ones; if it drives a hard bargain, it 
at least redeems every promise. No right thought or 
act is ever without itSyreward; each present response is 
a permanent investment for the future; the little things 
prepare for the great ; the gain achieved by a teacher's ef- 
forts is never wasted. The only way to become an effi- 
cient thinker and a true man is to constantly think effi- 
ciently and act manfully, but that way is sure. Habit 
rules us but it also never fails us. The mind does not 
give something for nothing, but it never cheats. 


Training the mind means the development of thou- 
sands of particular independent capacities, the formation 
of countless particular habits, for the working of any 
mental capacity depends upon the concrete data with 
which it works. Improvement of any one mental func- 
tion or activity will improve others only in so far as they 
possess elements common to it also. The amount of 
identical elements in different mental functions and the 
amount of general influence from special training are 
much less than common opinion supposes. The most 
common and surest source of general improvement of a 
capacity is to train it in many particular connections. 

Do not rely on any general mental improvement as a 

Formal Discipline 249 

result of your teaching unless you have actual evidence of 
it. Teach nothing- merely because of its disciplinary 
value, but teach everything so as to get what disciplinary 
value it does have. Consider in the case of every sub- 
ject what ideas and habits of attitude and method the sub- 
ject should develop that will be of general influence. Af- 
ter securing these ideas and habits in the special subject, 
give abundant practice in applying them to other fields. 
The price of the acquisition of general power is eternal 
vigilance in the formation of particular habits. The 
special training that is of the greatest vahre in and of 
itself will commonly also possess sufficient disciplinary 

§ 60. Exercises 

1. Give three or four illustrations from your ac- 
quaintances or from historical characters of the fact that 
a high degree of ability in one direction may go with 
only a moderate degree of ability in some other direction. 

2. For what reality does the term 'the power of ob- 
servation' stand, i. e., of what actual mental facts should 
the phrase be used? Answer the same question in the 
case of the 'power of concentration.' 

3. Which of these two statements is the truer? — 

A. "It has been well said that an educated man has 
a sharp ax in his hand and an uneducated man a dull one. 
I should say that the purpose of a college education is to 
sharpen the ax to its keenest edge." [79] 

B. An educated man has a multitude of useful tools 
and resources and knowledge of where to get more of the 
same kind. The purpose of a college education is to in- 
crease his stock and practice him in the use of each. 

4. Which of these two statements is the truer? — 

A. "We speak of the 'disciplinary' studies — having 
in our thought the mathematics of arithmetic, elementary 
algebra, and geometry, the Greek-Latin texts and gram- 

250 The Principles of Teaching 

mars, the elements of English and of French or German. . 
. . The mind takes fiber, facility, strength, adaptability, cer- 
tainty of touch from handling them, when the teacher 

knows his art and their power. The college should 

give elasticity of faculty and breadth of vision, so 

that they shall have a surplus of mind to expend." [80] 

B. The study of human nature and of the world of 
physical facts is more likely to fit the mind to succeed with 
the problems of later life than is the study of languages 
or of algebra and geometry. For the habits formed in the 
latter are less closely related to the habits of later life. 
The college should give a rich store of well selected 
knowledge, and training in logical methods applied to the 
important realities of life. 

5. Modify the following statements so that they will 
not be misleading. 

*'Let us now examine In detail the advantages which 
a person who has taken the ordinary Bachelor's degree 
has derived from the study of classics. Aside from the 
discipline of the will, which comes from any hard work, 
we find the following: (i) His memory for facts has 
been strengthened by committing paradigms and learning 
a new vocabulary. (2) He has been obliged to formu- 
late pretty distinctly a regular system of classified facts — 
the facts which from the material of the grammar — clas- 
sified in due form under chapter, section, subsection and 
so on. This means that he has learned to remember 
things by their relations — a power which can hardly be 
acquired without practice in forming or using such classi- 
fied systems. (3) He has had his judgment broadened 
and strengthened by constant calls upon it to account for 
things which cannot be accounted for without its exer- 
cise." [81] 

"As regards the first point, it may be noted that the 
pursuit of mathematics gives command of the attention. 
A successful study increases or creates the power of con- 
centrating the thoughts on a given subject and of sepa- 
rating mixed and tangled Ideas. The habits of mind 
formed by means of this one set of studies soon extend 
their influence to other studies and to the ordinary pur- 

Formal Discipline 251 

suits of life. The man or woman who has been drilled 
by means of mathematics is the better able to select from 
a number of possible lines which may be suggested that 
which is easiest or most direct to attain a desired end." 


6. Comment briefly upon each of the following: 

The value of the study of German "lies in the scientific 
study of the language itself, in the consequent training of 
the reason, of the powers of observation, comparison and 
synthesis; in short, in the upbuilding and strengthening 
of the scientific intellect." [83] 

''By means of experimental and observational work in 
science, not only will his attention be excited, the power 
of observation previously awakened, much strengthened, 
and the senses exercised and disciplined, but the very im- 
portant habit of doing homage to the authority of facts 
rather than to the authority of men, be initiated." [84] 

''The study of the Latin language itself does eminently 
discipline the faculties and secure to a greater degree than 
that of the other subjects we have discussed, the forma- 
tion and growth of those mental qualities which are the 
best preparatives for the business of life — whether that 
business is to consist in making fresh mental acquisitions 
or in directing the powers thus strengthened and ma- 
tured, to professional or other pursuits." [86] 

"In short the soul is not a mere knife that may be 
sharpened on any whetstone, and when sharpened may be 
applied to any purpose — to cut cheese or to excise a can- 
cer. The knife takes character from the whetstone." 


[Advantages resulting from the teaching of drawing.] 
"The visual, mental and manual powers are cultivated in 
combination, the eye being trained to see clearly and judge 
accurately, the mind to think, and the hand to record the 
appearance of the subjects seen, or the conceptions formed 
in the mind. Facility and skill in handicraft, and deli- 
cacy of m.anipulation, all depend largely upon the extent 
to which this hand and eye training has been fostered. 
The inventive and imaginative faculties are stimulated and 

252 The Principles of Teaching 

exercised in design, and the graphic memory is strength- 
ened by practice in memory drawing. The aesthetic 
judgment is brought into use, the power of discerning 
beauty, congruity, proportion, symmetry, is made 
stronger ; and the love of the beautiful, inherent more or 
less in mankind, is greatly increased." [88] 

7. Which of these statements is the truer? 

A. "Arithmetic, if judiciously taught, forms in the 
pupil habits of mental attention, argumentative sequence, 
absolute accuracy, and satisfaction in truth as a result, 
that do not seem to spring equally from the study of any 
other subject suitable to this elementary stage of instruc- 
tion. [89] 

B. Mathematics teaches especially the great value of 
settled and permanent principles of conduct and pro- 
cedure, and of adhering to such principles even though 
they may sometimes appear to be leading to undesirable 
conclusions." [90] 

8. Arrange the following statements in the order of 
their truth: 

A. "Since the mind is a unit and the faculties are 
simple phases or manifestations of its activity, whatever 
strengthens one faculty indirectly strengthens all the 
others. The verbal memory seems to be an exception to 
this statement, however, for it may be abnormally culti- 
vated without involving to any profitable extent the other 
faculties. But only things that are rightly perceived and 
rightly understood can be rightly remembered. Hence 
whatever develops the acquisitive and assimilative powers 
will also strengthen memory; and, conversely, rightly 
strengthening the memory necessitates the developing and 
training of the other powers." [91] 

B. "I. .. .understand by mental discipline the exer- 
cise of some faculty of the mind, which results in increas- 
ing the power or readiness of that faculty." [92] 

C. "The mind, is, on the contrary, on its dynamic 
side a machine for making particular reactions to particu- 
lar situations. It works in great detail, adapting itself to 
the special data of which it has had experience. The 

Formal Discipline 253 

word attention, for example, can properly mean only the 
sum total of a lot of particular tendencies to attend to par- 
ticular sorts of data, and ability to attend can properly 
mean only the sum total of all the particular abilities and 
inabilities, each of which may have an efficiency largely 
irrespective of the efficiencies of the rest." [93] 

Experiment 15. Find some old book printed through- 
out in the same size and style of type. Cut out 40 pages. 
Take ten of these pages at random and mark on two of 
them every verb, on two others every noun, on two others 
every preposition, on two others every adverb, and on two 
others every pronoun. Work as rapidly and as well as 
possible. Get some friend to do the same with ten other 
pages. Record the time taken for each page and pre- 
serve the pages, but without examining them. 

Then practice yourself for an hour or so a day in 
marking on page after page every word which contains 
both a and t. Record the time for each page during the 
first ten pages and thereafter the time for each five pages. 
Score also the number of omissions you make on each 
page. After you have reduced your time to about 80 
per cent, of what it was at the beginning and the number 
of omissions to a half or a fourth of what it was at the 
beginning, do ten pages, measuring the time for each 

Then repeat the tests in marking verbs, nouns and so 
on and have your friend repeat his tests likewise. Count 
the omissions in the before-training and after-training 
tests with parts of speech. How much improvement is 
there in your case in quickness and in accuracy in the 
tests with parts of speech? How much In your friend's 
case? How much in the tests with words containing a 
and t? So far as this little experiment goes, how much 
Improvement in the observation of the grammatical 

254 The Principles of Teaching 

features of words is brought about by a given amount of 
improvement in observing their spelHng? What is the 
use of the tests taken by your friend ? 

Experiment i6. Use the same tests as before and 
also, before and after the training, five tests of two pages 
each in marking words containing (i) both e and b, (2) 
both i and t, (3) both o and n, (4) two e's and (5) both 
r and n. 

For the special training secure some book with many 
columns of numbers, all of five figures or of six figures or 
of seven figures. 

Let the training be in marking as rapidly as possible 
every number in which three successive figures make to- 
gether {i. e., their sum) 15. 

9. Which study has the more elements in common 
with the problems of life itself, English or Latin? 
Arithmetic of the elementary school or geometry of the 
high school? Physics or geology? The sciences of 
human nature or the sciences of physical things? 

10. Which study presents most clearly ideals of ac- 
curacy and forms most surely habits of accuracy, arith- 
metic or geography? 

11. Suppose the ideas to be equally clear and the 
special habits equally firmly fixed, in which case would 
they be the more likely to give accuracy in statements 
about people, events and objects? Why? 

12. Rank in order for their probable improvement of 
the power to reason well about education the following: 
Geometry, Physics, Physiology, Psychology. 

13. Rank the same subjects in order for the clearness 
and convenience with which each in its special field trains 
deductive reasoning. 

14. (a) What subject is specially qualified to give 
an ideal of deductive proof? 

Formal Discipline 


(b) What subject is specially qualified to give an 
ideal of inductive proof? 

(c) What subject is specially qualified to give an 
ideal of open-mindeness ? 









Fig. 29. 

15. What are the defects of the following as training 
in observation for children in the third grade: Noting 
temperature on the thermometer and recording it, and 
noting the weather and recording it? 

16. Would you have a high-school class in bi- 
ology spend fifteen hours in observing and discussing the 
external form of a grasshopper? Justify your answer. 

17. What means would you take to cultivate the hab- 

256 The Principles of Teaching 

its of open-mindedness and freedom from superstition in 
nature study in the elementary school or in science courses 
in the high school? 

18. What means would you take to make the habit of 
open-mindedness about the physical objects studied pass 
over the pupil's dealings with all sorts of facts? 

19. What criticism would you make of the following 
method of 'mind-training'? — 

Figures like those of Fig. 29 were exposed for a brief 
time, then removed. The scholars were required to re- 
produce them. (The figure is a copy of No. 6 of C. 
Aiken's Methods of Mind-Training, p. 48.) 

20. Name three or four features of your own school 
life or that of acquaintances which were due to false no- 
tions about mental discipline and which seem to you un- 

21. Can you think of any mental capacity, to im- 
prove which the study of facts in themselves useless is 
necessary ? 

For Further Reading 

J. Adams, Herhartian Psychology Applied to Education, 
Chapter V. 

The Scientific Study of Teaching 

The efficiency of any profession depends in largej 
measure upon the degree to which it becomes scientific. 
The profession of teaching will improve ( i ) in proportion 
as its members direct their daily work by the scientific 
spirit and methods, that is by honest, open-minded con- 
sideration of facts, by freedom from superstitions, fancies 
or unverified guesses,^ and (2) in proportion as the 
leaders in education direct their choices of methods by 
the results of scientific investigation rather than by general [ 

Throughout this book the student has been given 
training in thinking scientifically about teaching, and has 
been prepared to base his professional work upon facts 
and to examine every act of teaching in the light of known 
laws of human nature. One thing more is essential to the 
proper intellectual attitude of a teacher toward class-room 
problems — the verification of results. 

§ 61. Testing the Results of Teaching 

The Importance of Tests. — No matter how care- 
fully one tries to follow the right principles of teaching, 

*Tlie right intellectual attitude is, of course, not the sole factor 
in good teaching. A good will toward children, philanthropic devo- 
tion to the work, the zeal for perfection that animates the true artist 
or craftsman and the personal qualities which work subtly by the 
force of imitation are also important. 
17 257 

258 The Principles of Teaching 

no matter how Ingeniously one selects and how adroitly 
one arranges stimuli, it is advisable to test the result of 
one's effort, — to make sure that the knowledge or power 
or tendency expected has really been acquired. Just as 
the scientist, though he has made his facts as accurate and 
his argument as logical as he can, still remains unsatisfied 
until he verifies his conclusion by testing it with new facts, 
so the teacher, after planning and executing a piece of 
work as well as he can, must Verify' his teaching by direct 
tests of its results and must consider uncertain any result 
that he cannot thus verify. 

Their Difficulty. — It is true that some of the most 
important results of teacliing cannot be verified at all by 
the teacher himself. The permanence of interests, the 
effect of moral inspiration in childhood on adult behavior 
and the fortification of the pupil's heart against degrading 
forces that will assault it years after school is done, are of 
necessity not subject to full or accurate verification. The 
results of a teacher's work upon the life of the pupils out 
of school are also to a large extent inaccessible to adequate 
observation. Finally certain changes in human intellect 
and character, such as nobler ideals, new ambitions and 
stronger powers, are hard to test even within the sphere 
of school and class-room life. The deeper ideals and am- 
bitions are often cherished in secret and revealed only by 
some sudden access of intimacy or by unusual events. 
The strength of mental powers is not hard to test but the 
result is almost always the result of delayed capacity,— 
of mere inner growth, — as well as of the teacher's efforts ; 
hence, the facts are hard to interpret. 

In many cases, however, a teacher may not only hope 
and believe that a desired result has been obtained; he 
may know. In many cases he can do more than simply 
try the best plan he can devise; he can try, test the re- 

The Scientific ^tudy of Teaching 259 

suits, find the failures in them, and, with this new knowl- 
edge, devise a remedy. Such actual verification of the 
sucess of one's work is possible in the case of changes in 
knowledge, skill and all definite habits. One should be 
able to tell absolutely whether Johnny Smith gets ideas 
or only words when he reads, whether Mary Jones can 
sew well enough to be worth five dollars a week to a 
dress-maker, whether Fred Brown does or does not treat 
his class-mates with more justice than he did three months 

Their Value to the Teacher. — Testing the results of 
one's teaching is useful not only because it gives a basis 
for improvements in one's methods, but also because it is 
one chief means of gaining knowledge of the mental 
content and special capacities of individuals. In applying 
the principle of apperception a teacher is constantly led 
to test the results of knowledge previously given as a pre- 
liminary to giving more. For the main thing in fitting 
stimuli to the mental make-up of pupils is not a host 
of ready-made devices to secure the cooperation of pre- 
vious experience ; it is rather constant readiness in test- 
ing for the presence of the essentials, in diagnosing the 
exact result of previous lessons. 

Their Value to the Class. — Testing the results of 
teaching is useful to the class as well as to the teacher, 
and to the class directly as well as indirectly through the 
betterment of future steps in teaching. Any scholar 
needs to know that he knows as well as to merely know ; 
to be ignorant and know that you are so is far more prom- 
ising than to be ignorant and not know it. By expression 
and use new ideas ?ind habits sret a double value ; boys and 
girls in school need to know what progress their eflforts 
have achieved and to guide their efforts by objective 
facts as well as by their own sense of progress. 

26o The Principles of Teaching 

It is a common opinion that examining a pupil, finding 
out 'whether he knows his lesson' is the least part of teach- 
ing, is something that anyone can do. And it is fashion- 
able amongst many teachers to spend the greater part of 
their time and still more of their energy in giving children 
opportunities to learn a great deal rather than in making 
sure that they learn something. The type of testing that 
uses the entire recitation simply to make sure that the 
pupil has studied certain pages of a book and remembered 
what he has learned is a small part of teaching and can 
be done by even a poor teacher. But the real verification 
of the work of teaching, that makes sure of just what the 
pupil knows and feels, that tests his comprehension and 
attitude as well as his memory, that prevents waste and 
prepares the way for better teaching of that pupil in the 
next topic and better teaching of that topic with the next 
class, is a most essential part of teaching and is one of the 
hardest things to do well. 

The Principles of Effective Testing. — The principle 
is indeed easy but its successful, concrete application re- 
quires both a high degree of capacity for insight into the 
facts of child life and thorough training. The principle is 
simply: — To know whether anyone has a given mental 
state, see if he can use It ;* to know whether anyone will 
make a given response to a certain situation, put him in the 
situation arranged so that that response and that response 
alone will produce a certain result and see if that result Is. 
produced. The test for both mental states and mental 
connections Is appropriate action. 

^ This is not given as a principle of psychology or logic, but as a 
rule for teaching. We are not here concerned with an ultimate cri- 
terion for the existence of a mental state in a given individual, but 
with a practical means of being assured that John has a certain con- 
cept of the class *dog,' that Mary knows what 'seven' means and the 

The Scientific Study of Teaching 261 

The test is easy to apply in the case of responses of 
bodily action. Can John write his name? Ask him to. 
Can Mary make edible biscuit ? Set her to work and try 
to eat what she makes. Will John obey the teacher? 
Give him orders. It is also easy in the case of verbal 
memory, — for all that is meant by verbal memory is clear- 
ly evidenced by the bodily actions of saying the words. 

It is harder, but still fairly easy, to apply in the case of 
connections of impression. That it is not very easy is 
shown by the fact that teachers often think a child stupid 
or even refractory when the real fact is that he does not 
clearly hear, does not get the impression of the questions 
they ask ; also by the fact that a boy may fail in painting 
or work with colored maps because of color-blindness and 
receive reprimands from the teacher for supposed lack of 

The error is in neglecting the 'that response alone.' 
The teacher acted on the theory: 'To fail to answer an 
easy question is the result of perversity or stupidity. 
This boy fails again and again. To color a map pink in 
spite of my clear directions to use green is the result of 
inattention.' A converse error is made by teachers of 
science who say : Tf a pupil really sees the specimen he 
can draw it/ and so use the power to draw as a test of the 
existence of certain responses of perception or observa- 
tion. They are clearly wrong in the case of seeing things 
properly in three dimensions and drawing in perspective, 
and are as truly if not as emphatically wrong in the case 
of many other features of drawing which make technical 
demands. Logically it would be as true to say: Tf you 
see the specimen as it is, you can draw it,' to an armless 
man as to some students. The error here is of course in 
supposing that the response will always produce the 'cer- 

262 The Principles of Teaching 

tain result/ and so inferring the absence of the response 
from the absence of the result. 

The principle is much harder to apply in the case of 
responses involving the knowledge of the meanings of 
words, figures and other symbols, comprehension of 
processes, rules, arguments and the like, appreciation of 
literature and the arts, feelings for nature and human 
beings, attitudes of interest and attention and other con- 
nections involving purely mental elements. 

In such cases it often requires much ingenuity and ex- 
perimentation to find a result which shall be a sure test of 
the presence of the response in question. Suppose for 
example that a teacher wishes to know whether the mem- 
bers of her first-year class in reading respond to the sight 
of ufiiess by a feeling of its meaning. For them to read it 
correctly tells little or nothing. For them to define it cor- 
rectly might mean merely verbal memory of a definition. 
On the other hand they might be unable to define it at a 
satisfactorily and still know what it meant as well as was 
necessary. To ask them to give orally and write a sen- 
tence with unless in it is a step in the right direction, es- 
pecially if several such sentences are required, but correct 
use in several sentences is not always a clear symptom of 
knowledge of meaning, for by purely spontaneous asso- 
ciation the word unless may call to memory sentences con- 
taining it, and occasionally, though very rarely, a child 
who knows what unless means may not think of a sentence 
that suits him. 

To test for knowledge of this one word requires, in 
fact, a rather complicated procedure, for instance the com- 
pletion of the following sentences so that they make sense. 
Success with five out of the eight would be almost certain 
evidence of sufficient knowledge of unless for the pur- 

The Scientific Study of Teaching 263 

It is dark at night unless 

It is light in the daytime unless 

I like to go outdoors unless 

They cannot read unless 

He will come unless 

He will not come unless 

She would do it unless 

The stove is hot unless 

Testing Knowledge of Terms. — To know what a 
triangle is, is to be able to recognize one when seen, to be 
able to pick out all the triangles from a miscellaneous col- 
lection of areas, to know where you will arrive at the end 
of the third side if you walk around it, to know how many 
sides will be left if you stand it up on one, and the like. 
With pupils of a certain degree of motor ability and prac- 
tice with scissors, ruler and pencil, to know what a tri- 
angle is will imply ability to draw one, to draw four or 
five different ones, to cut different shaped triangles out of 
paper and the like. To recognize, to classify, to answer 
questions about, to know what to expect of and to con- 
struct a thing are all useful and significant as tests of 
knowledge of it. To define it is simply to try to sum- 
marize the answers to possible questions about it. The 
question. What is a — has the advantage of asking many 
questions in one, and the disadvantages of asking them 
vaguely and of encouraging the repetition of some set 
form. When a definition is the result of a pupil's observa- 
tion or recall of many facts about the thing, of selection of 
the essential ones and their statement by him, it is a very 
valuable test of his knowledge. 

The general principle for testing the results of teach- 
ing may be illustrated further by some of the prohibitions 
which it implies : — Distrust the repetition of words as a 
test of anything more than verbal memory. 

Use definitions bi^^^ker as a sole test ; — the power to 




264 The Principles of Teaching 

define may exist without the knowledge of the term and 
knowledge of a term may exist without the power to de- 
fine it. 

Distrust any one particular kind of problem as a test 
of appreciation of a law. Distrust especially problems 
that are familiar or of a well-known type. 

Do not take it for granted that the ability to handle 
certain elements when isolated implies the ability to handle 
the same elements in complex connections. 

Do not test the ability to do one thing by the ability 
to do something else if a direct test is practicable. 


Testing the results of teaching and study is for the 
teacher what verification of theories is to the scientist, — 
the sine qua non of sure progress. It is a chief means to 
fitting teaching to the previous experience and individual 
capacities of pupils, and to arousing in them the instinct 
for achievement and the capacity for self-criticism. The 
test for knowledge, skill, appreciation and morality is in 
each case appropriate action. A valid test is one in which 
the response in question (knowledge or skill or ideal or 
whatever it may be) and only that response will produce 
a certain observable result. 

§ 62. Testing the General Results of School Work 

The Importance of Tests of Methods. — What the 
teacher should do with respect to each act of teaching 
each pupil, the leaders in education should do with re- 
spect to the general methods of teaching a subject recom- 
mended to all teachers. Expectations of results, even if 
based on right principles, must be corroborated by actual 


The Scientific Study of Teaching 265 

As a rule the best present judgment about the effi- 
ciency of a method of teaching will rest upon its harmony 
with the principles derived from the facts of human na- 
ture and upon its success or failure as measured by the 
opinion of those who try it. The best present judgment 
will not be mistaken very often or very much, but there 
could be safer tests of the worth of methods. For when 
a principle derived from the facts of human nature is ap- 
plied under the peculiar conditions of school life it may 
need modification ; and the opinions of even the best 
teachers concerning the value of a method may be short- 
sighted and partial. What is needed is the comparatively 
sure decision of that superior variety of opinion which is 
called science. 

The Characteristics of Scientific Judgments of 
Methods. — The judgments of science are distinguished 
from the judgments of opinion by being more impartial, 
more objective, more precise, more subject to verification 
by any competent observer, and by being made by those 
who by their nature and training should be better judges. 

Science knows or should know no favorites and cares 
for nothing in its conclusions but their truth. Opinion is 
often misled by the 'unconscious logic of its hopes and 
fears,' by prepossessions for or against this or that book 
or method or result. Science pays no heed to anything 
but the facts which it has already made sure of; it puts 
nothing in the scales but objective evidence. Opinion 
trusts its personal impressions, bows to authority and fol- 
lows the crowd. Anyone's opinion constantly favors the 
methods he is used to and is suspicious of new ideas ex- 
cept his own ; it accepts without verification and rejects 
without a fair trial. Science seeks precise quantitative 
measures of facts by which changes and correspondences 

266 The Principles of Teaching 

may be properly weighed ; opinion is content to guess at 
amounts of difference and likeness, to talk in the vague 
terms of more or less, much and little, to rate a method 
as better or worse without taking the pains to find out 
just how much better or worse it is. Science reveals the 
sources of its evidence and the course of its arguments, 
so that any properly equipped thinker can verify for him- 
self the facts asserted to be true. Opinion offers itself to 
be accepted or rejected, but not to be verified or intelli- 
gently criticised. Science is the work of minds special- 
ized to search after truth and selected as fit for the work 
by their equals and superiors in it. Opinion is the occa- 
sional thought of those who, though important and capa- 
ble people, are yet only amateurs in the work of getting 

Science would decide between two methods, say of 
teaching reading, by giving each an adequate trial, by 
measuring exactly the changes in bodily welfare, knowl- 
edge, interests, habits, powers and ideals caused by the 
two, and by comparing impartially the results in the two 
cases. It would, for instance, arrange that method A 
should be tried in ten or twenty classes and method B in 
ten or twenty other classes of equal ability and advantages 
taught by equally competent teachers. It would make 
sure that the two groups of teachers tried equally hard and 
that the two groups of classes were alike with respect to 
school-room equipment, the amount of time given to read- 
ing and the like. It would measure with precision the 
accomplishment of each pupil in reading itself, in spell- 
ing and writing, in knowledge of facts gained, in ap- 
preciation of good literature, in interest in reading, in 
such habits as might be influenced by the special training 
of reading, in power to learn new things and so on 

The Scientific Study of Teaching 267 

through the Hst of all the changes which Instruction in 
reading may produce. 

The Prospects of Scientific Investigations of Teach- 
ing. — Obviously such a scientific basis for the profes- 
sional work of teaching is in every way desirable. But 
for many reasons only a beginning has been made. The 
main reasons are perhaps, first that strictly scientific 
methods have only lately begun to be used in the case of 
facts of human activities and second that the complexity 
of the problems of teaching is so great as to make scien- 
tific treatment of them very intricate and laborious. 
There are a score of competent scientists engaged in the 
study of physical science for every one that is at work on 
the problems of social institutions. The task of knowing 
completely the facts and explanation of the mental and 
moral development of any one child is comparable to the 
study of the geology of an entire continent or the chem- 
istry of all the metals. 

The infrequency of the effort to investigate questions 
of teaching in the spirit and by the methods of science and 
the difficulty of the task itself are, however, no excuse for 
their neglect. The scientific study of teaching is at least 
as important as the scientific study of medicine and, 
though difficult, is in no way impossible. Even the subtle 
changes in powers, interests and aspirations can be meas- 
ured ; for sooner or later they must be manifested in actual 
facts. Even the remote Influences of teaching on life af- 
ter school can be known If the Investigator has unlimited 
time and energy. The immediate influence of various 
sorts of teaching upon the knowledge and habits directly 
concerned, may be studied scientifically with much less 
difficulty and with promise of quick returns In knowledge. 
There should be no need to ^uess at the value of methods 

268 The Principles of Teaching 

of teaching spelling or beginning reading or Latin gram- 

Such investigations lie beyond the scope of the activi- 
ties of most teachers. The time, the training, the scien- 
tific frame of mind and the zeal which they require can 
only rarely be at the disposal of the teacher, who has so 
many other things to learn and to do. To advance scien- 
tific knowledge of education is a most worthy occupation 
for anyone who is able to succeed in it but it is not the 
duty of all or of many teachers. The burden of making 
exact measurements of children's attainments, of inquir- 
ii-ig deeply into the what and why of the facts of school 
life and of feeling responsible for the verification or dis- 
proof of hypotheses about methods may be assumed volun- 
tarily by the investigator, but it should not be imposed up- 
on an already too busy teacher. Teachers should respect 
and encourage the labors of science but they should not 
feel bound to share them. The leaders in thought about 
education, on the other hand, should feel bound to study 
scientifically the field in which they claim to rank as ex- 
perts. Since their opinions will be accepted by the pro- 
fession as a whole, it is their duty to verify each opinion 
by a test of the results to which it leads. 

§ 63. A Typical Scicntiiic Study of School Work 

As a sample of what we may expect from scientific 

tests of the results of teaching I shall summarize and 

quote from Dr. O. P. Cornman's investigation of the 

value, or rather, lack of value, of specific drill in spelling.^ 

^ Dr. Cornman's entire investigation {Spelling in the Elementary 
School; An Experimental and Statistical Investigation. Vol. i of 
Experimental Studies in Psychology and' Pedagogy, from the Psy- 
chological Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania, 1902) deals 
also with individual and sex differences in spelling ability, the in- 
fluence of age, grade and general mental capacity and the nature and 
causation of errors in spelling, his study of the needlessness of special 
drill in spelling being only one division of the investigation. 

The Scientific Study of Teaching 269 

Dr. Cornman found first that the ability to spell of one 
school population as compared with others in the same 
city showed 'a conspicuous want of correlation' with the 
amount of time devoted to spelling drill. In this particu- 
lar he corroborated the results of Dr. J. M. Rice's work. 
In both cases schools devoting three times as many hours 
per year to specific spelling instruction as other schools 
showed little or no superiority in the spelling of their 

The material from which he drew this conclusion con- 
sisted of tests of II schools made in 1897, of 19 schools 
made in 1899 and of fifty schools made in 1900. Each 
school gave results from seven or more classes. A sample 
of the material is given below. 

Records of 1898 

4th a grade 5th grade 

School Time given Ability of the Time given Ability of the 

to spelling; class in spelling, to spelling; class in spelling, 
minutes per week minutes per week 









Dr. Cornman's main experiment was to omit entirely 
specific drill in spelling from the program of two schools 
for a period of three years, and to observe the results. 
He outlines the plan of the experiment as follows : 

"The results of the experimental investigation of spell- 
ing errors and the psychological facts and theories bearing 
upon the acquirement of spelling habits, which were given 
in the preceding section, suggest the comparative meagre- 
ness of the contribution of the specific spelling drill to the 

































270 The Principles of Teaching 

final result, and warrant an experiment which might 
otherwise have seemed a too dangerous tampering with 
the educational progress of the pupils who were to act as 
subjects in the tests. 

It was decided to abandon the use of the spelling book 
and home lessons in the subject, to omit also the period 
from the school programme which had been devoted to its 
study and recitation, and to investigate the effect that the 
abstraction of these influences might produce upon the 
spelling of the pupils of the several school grades. Sev- 
eral methods of measuring results were devised which 
will be herein described and statistically reported upon." 


The results were as follows : 

In spite of the omission of specific instruction in spell- 
ing, the pupils improved steadily. 

The work of the two schools in spelling was nearly or 
quite as good as in previous years when special drill in 
spelling had been the rule for every class. 

The work of the two schools in spelling was nearly or 
quite as good as that of other schools in the same city that 
retained the spelling drill. There was little or no more 
difference than there had been in previous years. 

The sources of tlie data from which these results were 
obtained were as follows : 

Eight composition tests were given in 1897- 1898, 3 in 
1 898- 1 899 and 3 in 1899- 1900 to all the pupils in the 
Northwest School (approximately 600) and ten composi- 
tion tests to all the pupils in the Agnew School (approxi- 
mately 160). 

All the pupils in the Northwest School were also tested 
at the end of the school years 1895-1896, 1896- 1897 and 
1 897- 1 898 in writing as many words as they could in 15 
minutes, the percentage spelled correctly being computed 
for each pupil. The papers written in June, 1898, after a 

The Scientific Study of Teaching 271 

year's omission of spelling drill were compared with those 
written in June, 1897. 

Dr. Cornman also used "the data afforded by the regu- 
lar term examination in spelling (which is prepared in the 
office of the superintendent and is the same for all the 
schools of Philadelphia) to compare the results of the 
Northwest and Agnew schools with those of other schools 
pursuing the usual course of specific instruction in spell- 

ing." [9S] 

The spelling work of all pupils of the Northwest and 
Agnew schools in the examinations of January, 1898, 
June, 1899, and June, 1900, was recorded, and also the 
class averages for 1 1 other schools in the examinations of 
January, 1898, for 19 other schools in the examinations of 
June, 1899, and for 50 other schools in the examinations 
of June, 1900. 

All the children of the Northwest and Agnew schools 
were also tested in June, 1897, and June, 1898, with a list 
of fifty isolated words and a long list of words to be writ- 
ten in sentences. 

Finally four tests each of fifty isolated words were 
given to all the children of the Northwest and Agnew 
schools at intervals throughout the year 1898- 1899. 
Each test "consisted of fifty words selected from a 'Re- 
view List of Difficult Words' for the particular grade to 
be tested, found in a modern spelling book. The review 
words (about five hundred in a list) were arranged in al- 
phabetical order, and the fifty words for the first list were 
selected by taking the first, fifth, ninth, thirteenth word, 
etc. ; those for the second list, by taking the second, sixth, 
tenth word, and so on. In this way lists were secured 
presenting approximated equal degrees of orthographical 
difficulty." [96] 

Dr. Cornman thus had sufficient material to compare 

272 The Principles of Teaching 

classes who had, for a year or for two years or for three 
years, no special instruction in spelHng with classes of the 
same grade in other schools and in the same school in pre- 
vious years, who had had such special instruction. He 
had sufficient material to compare them both in the spell- 
ing ability attained and in the progress made from their 
condition of a year or two years or three years before. I 
give the figures for a few of such comparisons. 

Spelling ability measured by uniform examinations for all 
schools, given by the city superintendent. 

so schools giving specific instruction 2 schools in which for three years n» 
in spelling specific instruction in spelling 

had been given. 
7th grade 73.0 69.9 

6th " 70.4 65.1 

5th " 71.6 7^-7 

Average 71.7 69.2 

The spelling ability of classes in the Northwest School who 
had for three years been without specific instruction in spelling 
compared with that of corresponding grades of previous years, 
who had had the full amount of drill in spelling. 

Tests of June, 1897. Tests of June, 1900. 

8th grade 99.4 99.8 

7th " 99.1 98.6 

6th " 96.75 99.0 

5th " 96.95 97.6 

The spelling ability in a test in writing words in sentences of 
classes which had been without specific instruction in spelling for 
a year and of classes which had had regular drill. 

Classes with regu- 

Classes wi 



lar drill. Tests 


regular drill. 


June, 1897. 

of June, I 


8th grade 



+ 0.8 

7th '' 



— 2.6 

6th a " 



— 6.0 

6th b " 



— I.O 

5th a " 



— Z.7 

5th b " 



+ 0.4 

4th a " 



+ 5.6 

4th b " 



— 0.5 

3d a " 



— 16.1 

3ci b " 



— ai 

The Scientific Study of Teaching 273 


4th a grade 76.8 


+ 5.2 

4th b " 82.5 


+ 1-2 

3d a " 72.3 


+ 1.4 

3d b " 66.1 


+ 1.6 

That is, half of the classes without specific instruction did better 
and half of them worse than the corresponding classes with specific 

His facts justify his conclusions that: — 
"(6) The amount of time devoted to the specific spell- 
ing drill bears no discoverable relation to the result, the 
latter remaining practically constant after the elimination 
of the spelling drill from the school programme. 

(9) It is therefore advisable, in view of the econom\' 
of time, to rely upon the incidental teaching of spelling tc 
produce a sufficiently high average result. 

(10) This average result is what can he and is at- 
tained, as shown by statistical evidence, by average pupils 
under teachers of average professional efiBciency in classes 
of average size, i. e., in the elementary schools of this 
country as now organized. To remain strictly within the 
evidence gathered by this investigation, it must be ad- 
mitted that there may be teachers of surpassing ability, 
who can obtain more than average results by the method 
of the specific spelling drill, and other teachers of meaner 
ability who need the drill to bring their pupils up to the 
level of this average result. It is claimed, however, that 
there is no evidence (whatever may be the wealth of 
opinion) to prove that such teachers exist or to show 
where they may be found. Moreover, the evidence which 
has been presented in this paper makes their existence at 
least improbable." [97] 


Topics for Further Studv 

These topics and the references given with each are 
chosen to meet the needs of the students who use this book 
as a text, not the needs of expert students of education. 
In choosing the references, accessibihty, convenience and 
intelHgibihty are given as much importance as specific re- 
striction to the topic or excellence from the expert's point 
of view in treating it. Rare books are rejected; books in 
foreign languages and articles in periodicals are used rare-- 
ly or as optional references. Books are given a decided 
preference over scattered articles, not only because they 
are so much more accessible and convenient for the stu- 
dent's use, but also because the complete, systematic pre- 
sentation characteristic of a book is a great advantage to 
college and normal school students. The list does not 
aim to be an adequate representation of the topics which 
may be studied under the heading 'Principles of Teach- 
ing.' Indeed it aims precisely to be not complete, but a 
selection such as will make the student's reading more 
effective. The ten books referred to throughout the text 
under 'For Further Reading' would of course be included 
in the present list, had they not been used as collateral 
reading for the different chapters. 

The General Principles of Teaching 

I. The Ultimate Aims of Teaching. The Meaning of 
Education, by N. M. Butler, or Educational Aims 
and Educational Values, by P. H. Hanus, or The 
Philosophy of Education, by H. H. Home. 

Topics for Further Study 275 

2. Physical Education. Physical Education, by A. 

3. The Hygiene of Reading and Writing. Chapters 
VII-XI of School Hygiene, by E. R. Shaw, (1901) 
or Chapters Mil, V-VIII, and X-XI of The Phys- 
ical Nature of the Child, by S. H. Rowe (1899). 

4. Nervousness and AlHed Disorders. The Study of 
Children, by F. Warner. 

5. Instinct and Habit throughout Nature. Habit and 
Instinct, by C. L. Morgan. 

6. Apperception. Apperception, by K. Lange (edited 
by C. De Garmo). 

7. ReaHties versus Words in Teaching. An Experiment 
in Education, by M. R. AlHng-Aber and Object Les- 
sons, or Words and Things, by T. G. Rooper. 

8. Interests. Interest and Education, by C. De Garmo 
and The Child and the Curriculum, by J. Dewey ; or 
Interest as Related to Will (Second supplement to 
the Year-Book of the Herbart Society for 1895 ; 
second edition, 1903), by J. Dewey and Interest in 
its Relation to Pedagogy, by W. Ostermann (edited 
by E. R. Shaw). 

9. The Correlation of Studies. Number Work in Na- 
ture Study, by W. S. Jackman. 

10. Attention. The Art of Securing Attention, by J. G. 
Fitch and Chapters XII-XVI of The Art of Study, 
by B. A. Hinsdale. 

11. Inductive and Deductive Teaching. The Essentials 
of Method (revised edition, 1897, or later), by C. De 

12. The Influence of School Education upon Conduct. 
The Moral Instruction of Children, by F. Adler, or 
Pages i-ioo of the Third Year-Book of the National 
Herbart Society (1897), by J. Dewey, C. De Garmo, 
W. T. Harris and J; Adams. 

13. The Importance of Motor Responses. The Place of 
Industries in Elementary Education, by K. E. Dopp 
(1905 or later). 

Q^'jd The Principles of Teaching 

14. The Dogma of Formal Discipline, Chapter XIII of 
The Educative Process, by W. C. Bagley (1905), 
The Dogma of Formal Discipline, by B. A. Hinsdale 
and Chapters XIII and XIV of Education as Ad- 
justment, by M. V. O'Shea (1903). 

15. Scientific Investigations of Teaching. Spelling in 
the Elementary School, by O. P. Cornman. 

16. Teaching from the Point of View of Psychology. 
The Educative Process, by W. C. Bagley. 

17. Teaching from the Point of View of Direct Experi- 
ence. Common Sense in Education and Teaching, 
by P. A. Barnett, or Principles of Class Teaching, 
(especially sections IV and V) by J. J. Findlay, or 
Lectures on Teaching, by J. G. Fitch, or Talks on 
Pedagogics, by F. W. Parker, or Elements of Peda- 
gogy (the division entitled 'Methods of Teaching') 
by E. E. White. 

18. Teaching from the Point of View of Pedagogical 
Theories. General Method, by C. A. McMurry, or 
Outlines of Pedagogics by W. Rein (translated by C. 
C. and I. J. Van Liew), or The Philosophy of Teach- 
ing, by A. Tompkins. 

19. Teaching Children of the Kindergarten Age. A 
Study of the Kindergarten Problem, by F. and C. F. 
Burk and Kindergarten Principles and Practice, by 
K. D. Wiggin and N. A. Smith. 

20. Teaching in the Primary Grades. Primary Meth- 
ods, by W. N. Kallmann (a book that pretends to 
treat only one narrow aspect of the problem and 
hence on that should be read only in connection 
with other books) and Nature Study Lessons for 
Primary Grades, by L. B. McMurry ; or Physiolog- 
ical Notes on Primary Education, by M. P. Jacobi 
and Special Method in Primary Reading, by C. A. 

21. Class Management and Discipline. Chapters III 
and IV of School Management and Methods of In- 
struction, by G. Collar and C. W. Crook (1900) and 
Chapters VII-X of School Management by S. T. 

Topics for Further Study 277 

22. The Teacher as a Logician. The Principles of 
Logic, by H. A. Aikins or The Logical Bases of 
Education, by J. Welton. 

23. The Teacher as a Worker in a System. Our 
Schools: Their Administration and Supervision, by 
W. E. Chancellor. 

24. The Teacher as a Co-Worker with Social Forces 
outside the School. Democracy and Social Ethics, 
by Jane Addams, or The Principles of Religious 
Education, by N. M. Butler, W. C. Doane, C. De 
Garmo and others, or Social Phases of Education, 
by S. T. Dutton, or Industrial Education, by Philip 
Mag-nus, or Poverty, by R. Hunter and The Children 
of the Poor, by J. A. Riis, or The Problem of the 
Children and Hozv the State of Colorado Cares for 
them: A Report of the Juvenile Court of Denver. 

Principles of Teaching Special Subjects 

25. Principles of Teaching Biology and Nature Study. 
The Nature-Study Idea, by L. H. Bailey, or Nature 
Study and Life, by C. F. Hodge, or Nature Study 
for Common Schools, by W. S. Jackman, or The 
Teaching of Biology, by F. E. Lloyd and M. E. 

26. Principles of Teaching Chemistry and Physics. 
The Teaching: of Chemistry and Physics, by A. 
Smith and E. H. Hall. 

2y. Principles of Teaching Domestic Science and Art. 
The Teaching of Domestic Economy, by H. Kinne, 
(announced for publication in 1907). 

28. Principles of Teaching Drawing. The Teaching 
of Drawing, by L H. Morris and Composition, by A. 
W. Dow. 

29. Principles of Teaching English. The Teaching of 
English, by G. R. Carpenter, F. T. Baker and F. N. 
Scott, or The Teaching of English, by P. Chubb. 

30. Principles of Teaching Geography. The Teaching 
of Geography, by A. Geikie, and either Special 

278 The Principles of Teaching 

Method in Geography (edition of 1904 or later), by 
C. A. McMurry or Hozv to Study Geography, by F. 
W. Parker or The Teachers College Record, vol. II. 
No. 2, by R. E. Dodge and C. B. Kirchwey. 

31. Principles of Teaching History. The Teaching of 
History and Civics, by H. E. Bourne, or Method in 
History, by W. H. Mace, (1902 or later) or Special 
Method in History, by C. A. McMurry. 

32. Principles of Teaching Latin and Greek. The 
Teaching of Latin and Greek, by C. E. Bennett and 
G. P. Bristol. 

33. Principles of Teaching Manual Art and Construc- 
tion. The Teaching of Manual Training, by C. R. 
Richards, (announced for publication in 1907), or 
The Teachers College Record, vol. I, No. 5 and vol. 
II, No. 5, by C. R. Richards, A. V. Churchill, M. S. 
Woolman, H. Kinne and L. Rouillion. 

34. Principles of Teaching Mathematics. The Teach- 
ing of Elementary Mathematics, by D. E. Smith. 

35. Principles of Teaching Modern Languages. New 
Methods of Teaching Modern Languages, in the 
Teachers College Record, vol. IV, No. 3, by L. 
Bahlsen (translated by M. B. Evans), or German 
in Secondary Schools, by E. W. Bagster-Collins. 

36. Principles of Teaching Music. Music in the 
Schools, by C. H. Farnsworth and M. Hofer, in the 
Teachers College Record, vol. V, No. i, and the 
Handbook on the Art of Teaching as Applied to 
Music, by John Warriner. 

37. Principles of Teaching Reading. Reading, How to 
Teach It, by S. L. Arnold and Reading: A Manual 
for Teachers, by M. E. Laing and The Sentence 
Method of Teaching Reading (1895 or later) by G. 
L. Farnham; or The Psychology of Reading, by 
E. B. Huey. 

School Practices of the Past, and Reformers of 
Methods of Teaching 

38. The Schools of Greece. Elementary Greek Edu- 
cation, by F. H. Lane and Old Greek Education, by 
J. P. Mahaffy. 

Topics for Further Study 279 

39. The Schools of Rome. The Education of Children 
at Rome, by G. Clarke. 

40. The Schools of the Renaissance. A Literary Source 
Book of the German Renaissance, by M. Whitcomb 
(published by the Department of History of the 
University of Pennsylvania). 

41. The Schools of England. Schools, School-books 
and School-Masters, by W. C. Hazlitt. 

42. Comenius. The Great Didactic, edited by M. W. 
Keating, or John Amos Comenins, by S. S. Laurie, 
or Comenins and the Beginnings of Educational Re- 
form, by W. S. Monroe and The School of Infancy, 
edited by W. S. Monroe. 

43. Rousseau. Emile, Edited by W. H. Payne, or 
Rousseau and Education According to Nature, by T. 

44. Pestalozzi. Pestalozd by R. De Guimps, edited by 
J. Russell, or Pestalozzi, by A. Pinloche. 

45. Herbart. Herbart and the Herbartians, by C. De 

46. Froebel. Froebel and Education through Self -Ac- 
tivity, by H. C. Bowen. 

47. Stanley Hall. Chapters HI, XH, XIH, XV and 
XVI of Adolescence, by G. Stanley Hall. 

48. The Historical Course of Reform. Essays on Edu- 
cational Reformers, by R. H. Quick (1890 or later). 

49. American Education To-day. Education in the 
United States, edited by N. M. Butler (Albany, 

Bibliographies of Education 

The English-reading student will find the following 
sources of information about books on teaching suffi- 
cient : — For ordinary purposes, the Bibliography of Edu- 
cation by W. S. Monroe (1897) ^^^ the Bibliographies 
printed annually since 1900 in the Educational Review 
(New York). In addition, the Bibliographies of Child 

28o The Principles of Teaching 

Study printed annually in the Pedagogical Seminary, the 
Analytical Index to the Educational Review, vols. 1-25, 
by C. A. Nelson (1904) and A Bibliography of Secondary 
Education, by G. H. Locke (1903) may be consulted, and, 
of course, the indexes to general periodical literature. 


1. W. James^ Talks to Teachers on Psychology, p. 62 

2. J. MacCunn, The Making of Character, p. 29. 

3. A. Bain, Education as a Science, p. 90. 

4. E. A. KiRKPATRiCK, Fundamentals of Child Study, 
p. 208. 

5. J. MacCunn, The Making of Character, p. 10. 

6. J. MacCunn, The Making of Character, p. 29. 

7. G. CoMPAYRE, Lectures on Pedagogy (translated 
by Payne), 1890, p. 26. 

8. P. A. Barnett, Common Sense in Education and 
Teaching, p. 39. 

9. The opening lines of the Trimetrical Classic of the 

10. E. A. KiRKPATRiCK, Fundamentals of Child Study, 

p. 105. 

11. F. Froebel, Education of Man (Hailmann's Trans- 
lation), I, 8. 

12. Kiddle, Harrison and Calkins, How to Teach, 
p. 17. 

13. C. Guillet, Pedagogical Seminary, Vol. VH, p. 427. 

14. C. Guillet, Pedagogical Seminary, Vol. VH, p. 445. 

15. Harris, Rickoff and Bailey, Appleton's Second 
Reader, (1878), pp. 8 and 9. 

16. J. Baldwin, Industrial Primary Arithmetic, p. 4. 

17. J. Dewey, The Child and the Curriadum, p. 38. 

18. W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, p. 92. 

19. M. H. Carter^ The Kindergarten Child — After the 
Kindergarten, Atlantic Monthly, March, 1899. 


282 The Principles of Teaching 

20. E. M. Cyr, The Children's Second Reader, (1894), 
(1897), pp. 92-97. 

21. J. Baldwin, School Reading by Grades, Third 
Year, (1897), pp. 92-97. 

22. Harris, Rickoff and Bailey, Appleton's Second 
Reader, (1878), p. 31. 

23. E. C. Wilson, Pedagogues and Parents, p. 68. 

24. J. M. Greenwood, Principals of Education Practi- 
cally Applied, p. 27. 

25. E. Lamborn, The Practical Teacher, p. 24. 

26. P. P. G., Exercises in Orthography, p. i (so marked, 
though the following page is marked 6). 

27. W. B. Fowle, The Companion to Spelling Books, 
p. 128. 

28. R. Gilmour, Second Reader of the Catholic Nation- 
al Series, pp. 8-9. 

29. The Progressive Practical Arithmetic. 

30. J. Swett, Examination Questions. 

31. J. Menet, Practical Hints on Teaching, p. 102. 

32. J. Menet, Practical Hints on Teaching, p. 103. 

33. Infant School Manual, quoted by S. R. Hall^ The 
Instructor's Manual, p. 156. 

34. Theodore Roosevelt. 

35- W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, pp. 

36. From an advertisement of the Charles Field Street 
Academy (1826). 

37. H. W. Ellsworth, Text-hook on Penmanship, 
(1865), p. 140. 

38. W. B. Fowle, The Companion to Spelling Books, 

P- 53- 

39. W. B Fowle, The Companion to Spelling Books, 


40. D. Putnam, A Manual of Pedagogics, p. 164. 

The Sources of Qtiotations 283 

41. W. James (the author is unable to find the place 
where the anecdote appears in print, if indeed it is in 

42. H. Crew, Elements of Physics, (1899), pp. 179-181. 

43. H. A. AiKiNS, The Principles of Logic, (1902), p. 


44. C. G. Burn HAM, A New System of Arithmetic, 

(1856), p. 17. 

45. C. G. BuRNHAM, A New System of Arithmetic, p. 


46. C. G. BuRNHAM, A New System of Arithmetic, p. 


47. C. G. BuRNHAM, A Nezu System of Arithmetic, p. 


48. W. W. Beman and D. E. Smith, Elements of Alge- 
bra, (1901), p. 4. 

49. W. W. Beman and D. E. Smith, Elements of Alge- 
bra, p. 41. 

50. H. Crew, Elements of Physics, p. 19. 

51. I. Sharpless and G M. Philips, Natural Philoso- 
phy, (Revised Edition), p. 20. 

52. H. Crew, Elements of Physics, p. 48. 

53. I. Sharpless and G. M. Philips, 'Natural Philoso- 
phy (Revised Edition), p. 12. 

54. H. G. BuEHLER, A Modern English Grammar, p. 207. 

55. H. G. BuEHLER, A Modern English Grammar, p. 143. 

56. E. Pond, Murray's System of English Grammar, 
pp. 44-45. 

57. G. J. Smith, Longman's English Grammar, p. 159. 

58. J. L. Comstock, a System of Natural Philosophy, 
pp. 17-18. 

59. L. D. Higgins, Lessons in Physics, pp. 19-21. 

60. E. L. Thorndike, Elements of Psychology, pp. 

284 The Principles of Teaching 

61. J. G. FiTCH^ Lectures on Teaching, p. 108. 

62. J. G. FiTCH_, Lectures on Teaching, p. 109. 

63- W. James^ Talks to Teachers on Psychology, pp. 

64. W. James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology, p. 71. 

65. A. Smith, Moral Sentiments, VI, 3. (Quoted by J. 
MacCunn, in The Making of Character, p. 14.) 

66. J. M. Greenwood, Principles of Education Practic- 
ally Applied, p. 128. 

6y. H. C. Spencer, Spencerian Key to Practical Pen- 
manship, (1869), p. 109. 

68. H. Gordon, Handwriting and Hozv to Teach It, p. 


69. H. Gordon, Handwriting and How to Teach It, p. 


70. H. C. Spencer, Spencerian Key to Practical Pen- 
manship, p. 125. 

71. H. C. Spencer, Spencerian Key to Practical Pen- 
manship, p. 130. 

^2. H. C. Spencer, Spencerian Key to Practical Pen- 
manship, pp. 13 1- 1 32. 

73. H. W. Ellsworth, Text Book on Penmanship, pp. 

74. Crosby and Nichols ( ?), Theory and Art of Pen- 
manship, pp. 137-138. 

75. A. T. Smith, Systematic Methodology, p. 202. 

76. Independent Fourth Reader, p. 19 and p. 13. 

yy. E. L. Thorndike, Educational Psychology (1903), 
pp. 84-85. 

78. W. C. Bagley, The Educative Process, p. 208. 

79. N. Butler, quoted by E. L. Thorndike, Educa- 
tional Psychology, p. 84. 

80. W. Wilson, Science, Nov. 7, 1902. 

The Sources of Quotations 285 

81. E. H. Babbitt, in Methods of Teaching Modern 
Languages, p. 130. 

82. R. Worm ELL, in Teaching and Organization, edited 
by P. A. Barnett, p. 78. 

83. C. Thomas, in Methods of Teaching Modern Lan- 
guages, p. 27. 

84. J. Payne, Lectures on Education, Vol. I, p. 261. 

85. W. C, Bagley, The Educative Process, pp. 215-216. 

86. J. Payne, Lectures on Education, Vol. I, p. 264. 

87. J. Adams, Herbartian Psychology Applied to Educa- 
tion, p. 126. 

88. I. H. Morris, in Teaching and Organization, edited 
by P. A. Barnett, pp. 63-64. 

89. J. Payne, Lectures on Education, Vol. I, p. 260. 

90. D. Putnam, A Manual of Pedagogics, p. 243. 

91. R. N. RoARK, Method in Education, p. 27. 

92. E. H. Babbitt, in Methods of Teaching Modern 
Languages, p. 126. 

93. E. L. Tiiorndike and R. S. Woodworth, Psycho- 
logical Revieiv, Vol. VIII, pp, 249-250. 

94. O. P. Cornman, Spelling in the Elementary School,, 
pp. 47-48. 

95. O. P. Cornman, Spelling in the Elementary School, 

p. 59. 

96. O. P. Cornman, Spelling in the Elementary School, 

pp. 62-63. 

97. O. P. Cornman, Spelling in the Elementary School, 
pp. 69-70. 


Index of Exercises Relating to Special School Subjects 

The references given are to the section and the number of the 
exercise. The number of the section is printed in italics ; the 
number of the exercise in Roman. 
Algebra.— § ^5, 5; § Ji, 6; § 35, 

Arithmetic. — § ii, 23; § 14, 23, 
30; § 18, 26; § 25, 5, Ex. 8; 

§ ^9, 47 ; § 35, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 
13, 14, 15; § 39, 7, 14, 36, 37, 
38, 39, 40, 41, 42; § 60, 4, 9, 
12, 13, 14. 

§ 29, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 37, 50; German.— § 18, 4; § ^5, 45 § 39, 

§ 33, I, 2; § 35, 19, 32; § 39, 15; § 60, 4, 6. 

32, 33, 34, 35, 43, 44; § 5^, 9, Greek.— § 18, 22; § 60, 4, 5- 

11; § 60, 4, 7, 9, 10, II. 
Chemistry.— § 14, 24 ; § 7.S, 7, 8 ; 

§ JJ, 5; § 35, 21, 28; § jp, 21. 
Drawing.— § 18, 6, Ex. 5; % 33, 

6; § 5^-, I, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10; 

§ 60, 6. 
English Composition. — § 18, 9, 

24; § 33, 5, 9. 
English Grammar. — § 3, 2; % 14, 

11; § 25, 5; % 29, 34; § J5, 2, 

17, 32; § 39, 14, 22, 23, 24,25, 

26, 29, 30, 31- 
English Language. — § 14, 16; 

§ ^5, 3 ; § 29, I, 2, 3, 4, 38. 
English Literature. — § j, i ; 

§ /5, 12, 19; § 33, 3, 9; § 47, 

History.— § J, 2; § 11, 15, 22; 

§ J^, 9, 10, 21; § /<?, 4, 25; 

§ -^P, 36; § J/, 5; § 33, 3, 6; 

§ 47, 7; § 5^, 9, II. 
Latin.— § J, i; § /5, 28; §^5,4; 

§^9,7,35; 1 33, A', §J9, 7, 21; 

§ 52, 9, 12; § 60, 4, 5, 6, 9. 
Manual Training. — § J, i ; § 11, 

9; § 33, I. 
Music— § J, 2 ; § jj, 9. 
Nature Study. — § J J, 9; § 14, 

25; § J^, 30; § 35, 31; § J9, 

27; § 47, 9; § 52, 11; § 60, 

15, 16, 17, 18. 
Physics.— § J5, 22, 25, 29, 30, 32 ; 

§ 39, 15, 21, 28, 46, 47, 48; 
60, 9, 12, 13, 14. 

6, 12; § 60, 9. ^^^ a/^o under physiology.-§ 14, 26; § 18, 22; 

I 52,9', % 60, 12, 13. 
Reading. — § 7, 10, Ex. i ; % ii, 
2;% 18, 13, 15, 25, Ex.7; §29, 
6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 
22, 23, 24; § 35, 9, 10, II, 12, 
18, 27; § 5^, 9; § 55, 6, 7. 

French. — § 60, 4. 

Geography.— § J, 8, 9; § il, 15^ 
21 ; § 14, 5, 8, 22 ; § Ji, 5 ; § 33 
6; § J9, 14, 21; § 60, 10, II. 

Geometry. — § //, 20; § 18, 27; 


Index 2.^7 

Science.— § //, 20; § 14, 22, 28, Spellh.g.— § 14, 7\ § 27, 7, 8; 
29; § 18, 21 ; § jj, I, 6; § 39, § -^P, 5, 8; § 33, 9- 
45; § 60, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Writing.— § I/, 2; §29, 25; 155, 

I, 2, 3, 4, 5- 

Index of Experiments 

1. The influence of spacing upon the speed and ease of read- 

ing ■ 19 

2. Apperception: the over-estimation of children's knowl- 

edge ' • 44 

3 and 4. Apperception : city and country children compared 45 

5. The interest of young children in drawing 63 

6. The interests of boys in their 'teens as shown by their 

reading - 6^ 

7. The interests of young children as shown by their prefer- 

ences amongst reading lessons 64 

8. Individual differences In Intellect... = . 98 

g. Individual differences in taste loi 

10. The variability of the sexes »• I04 

11. Attention 108 

12 and 13. The principles of association 122 

14. The Inadequacy of practice without selection 231 

!<; and 16. The influence of special training on more general 

abilities 253-254 


(The names of authors quoted in the text are also listed here.) 
Abstraction {See Analysis). Apperception, Chapter IV; and 
Abstract thought, capacity for, attention, 107; in motor edu- 

31 f. ; interest in, 57 f. ; in- catic, 224 f. 

dividual differences in, 88; Art, teac''ing of {See Motor 

expression of by language, expression and Motor edu- 

209 f. cation). 

Accuracy in judging lengths Association, individual differ- 

and "'eights, 239, 241. ences in,- 74!; principles of 

Action, children of, 86 f. ; in- teaching with respect to, 

dividual differences in, 92 ff. Chapter VIII ; habit forma- 
Activity, instinct of physical, tion and, no ff. ; memory 

25 ; instinct of mental, 26 ; and, 123 f . ; systems of knowl- 

law of partial, 147, 153; self, edge and, 127 ff.; exercises 

39 ff. on, 112 ff. 

Adaptation of instruction to in- Athletics, and moral training, 

dividual differences {See In- 185. 

dividual differences). Attention, Chapter VII ; caused 

Addition, individual differences by instincts and habits, 105 ; 

in, 69 ff. gaining vs. holding, 106; in- 

Adenoids, 15. fluence of bodily attitudes on. 

Aesthetic education. Chapter 106 f. ; in motor education, 

XII. 226; influence of special 

Aims o:." education, 3 ff. ; varia- training of, 241 ; exercises on, 

tion of with conditions, 5 f. 107 ff. 
Algebra, individual differences Attitude, instincts of, 24 {See 

in, 81 f. also Physical Attitudes). 

Analysis, as the basis of the 

higher mental activities, 133 f. ; 

principles of teaching with re- Bagley, W. C, 242. 

spect to. Chapter IX; use of Bennett, C, 240. 

in teaching reasoning, 147 ff., Benson, A. C, 187. 

152!, 155; exercises on. Bodily {See Physical). 

135 ff. Body, influence of on mind, 13 f. 


Index 289 

Capacities, Chapter III; de- Defects, physical, 14; of in- 

velopment of, 21 ; inhibition tellect, 88 f. 

of, 21 f . ; delayed, 22 ; indi- Definitions, use of in analysis, 

vidual differences in, 23 f., 135 

32 f. ; important in school life. Delayed capacities and instincts, 

30; for abstract thought, 22; in relation to motor edu- 

31 f. ; for managing ideas, cation, 223 f. 

31; for cooperation, 32; for Development, of instincts and 

leadership, 32 ; for originality capacities, 21 ; of interests, 

and self-reliance, 32 ; neglect 52 f. ; of motor ability, 223 f. 

of, 32 ; specialization of, 33, Dewey, J., 56. 

238 ff. ; exercises on, 34 fif. Differences, between individu- 

Classes, size of, in relation to als (See Individual differ- 

moral training, 184; in rela- ences) ; between the sexes 

tion to methods of instruction (See Sex differences). 

(See Individual differences). Discipline, formal (See Formal 

Classification, of responses, 9; discipline); moral training 

of stimuli, 8. and school, 186 f. 

Collecting, instinct of, 27. Dissociation (See Analysis). 

Comparison, as an aid in teach- Distribution of mental abilities, 

ing analysis, 135; in teaching 68 ff. 

reasoning, 151 f., 156 f. Drawing (See Motor expres- 

Conduct (See Moral training). sion and Motor education). 

Contrast, as an aid in teaching Drill in spelling, apparent futil- 

reasoning, 151 f., 156 f. ity of, 26Sf[. 
Cooperation, capacity for, s^. 

CoRNMAi^, O. P., 268 ff. Education (See specific head- 
Correlation, 127 ff. ; means of ings). 

securing, 128; dangers to be Elements, analysis of, 133 ff.; 

avoided in, 129; exercises on, selection of in reasoning, 

129 ff. 148 ff., 161 ff. 

Emotions, education of the, 
Chapter XII. 

Deduction, 154! (See also Ethical training (See Moral 

Deductive). training). 

Deductive methods of teaching, Examinations (See Testing). 

160 ff.; difficulties in, 160; Execution, teaching of in the 

selection of essential ele- motor arts, 222 ff. 

ments in, 161 f. ; means of Exercise of the muscles, 12 f. 

guidance in, 163 f. ; exercises Expression (See Motor ex- 

on, 164 ff. pression.) 



Faculty psychology {See Form- 
al discipline). 

Feeling, children of, 86; re- 
sponses of, Chapter XII, 

Feelings education of the, 
Chapter XII ; association 
and, 199; bodily attitudes 
and, 199 f. ; imitation and, 
199; in the case of the aes- 
thetic feelings, 201 f. ; exer- 
cises on, 202 fif. 

Form, teaching of in the motor 
arts, 220 f. 

Formal discipline, Chapter XV; 
meaning of, 235 f. ; common 
view of, 236 f. ; inconsistent 
with the specialization of 
abilities, 238 ff,; amount of, 
240 fif. ; in sense-training, 240 ; 
in observation and attention, 
241 ; in memory, 241 ; in 
neatness, 24:2; methods of se- 
curing, 243 fif. ; exercises on, 
249 fif. 

Formal steps of Instruction, 
159 f- 

Fracker, G. C, 241. 

Geography and moral train- 
ing, 190 f. 
Gilbert, J. A., 241. 
Gymnastics, 12 f. 

Habit, Chapter VIII; and at- 
tention, 105; and the educa- 
tion of the feelings, 199. 

Health, Chapter II. 

Hearing, defects of, 14. 

History and moral training, 
191 f* 

Hygiene {See Physical educa- 

Identical elements, disciplin- 
ary efifect through, 243 fif. 

Imagery, applications to teach- 
ing of individual dififerences 
in, 89 fif. 

Imitation, 25, 53, 184, 199, 220 f. 

Improvement of general pow- 
ers {See Formal discipline). 

Inattention, 105. 

Inborn tendencies {See In- 
stincts and Capacities). 

Incentives {See Interests). 

Individual dififerences. Chapter 
VI ; in instincts and capaci- 
ties, 23 f. ; nature, 68 f. ; dis- 
tribution of, 68 fif. ; amount, 
69 fif. ; range, 72 fif. ; concrete 
illustrations of, 76 fif. ; in ad- 
dition, 69 fif. ; in rate of move- 
ment, 72)'^ in observation, 
74 f. ; in association, 74 f. ; in 
spelling, 74 f., 83 ; in logical 
power, y6 f. ; in memory, 
78 f. ; in ability to translate 
Latin, 79 f. ; in algebra, 81 f. ; 
pedagogical consequences of, 
83 fif. ; in general mental con- 
stitution, 85 fif. ; in thought, 
87 fif. ; in imagery, 89 fif. ; in 
action, 92 fif. ; in suggestibil- 
ity, 94; in temperament, 
94 fif. ; exercises on, 98 fif. 

Induction {See Inductive). 

Inductive methods of teaching; 
154 fif. ; verification in, 157 f.; 
use of types in, 158 f. ; formal 
steps of instruction In, 159 f. 

Index 291 

Inhibition, of instincts and ca- Leadership, capacity for, 32. 

pacities, 21 f. ; and self activ- Limitations to teaching reason- 

ity, 40; of interests, 52. ing, 153!; to moral training, 

[nstincts. Chapter III ; meaning 180 ff., 184 f. 

of to teaching, 21 f. ; delayed, Literature and moral training, 

22; transitory, 22; individual 191 f, 

differences in, 22, f. ; of atti- Logical thinking {See Reason- 
tude, 24; of mental activity, ing) ; individual differences 
25; of physical activity, 26; in, 76 f. 
of collecting, 27; of pugnac- 
ity, 27 ; neglect of in teaching, Material constructions as means 
27 f. ; misuse of, 28 f.; and of expression, 210 ff. 
attention, 105 ; and moral Material of education, 7 ff. 
training, 182; and the train- MacCunn, J., 29. 
ing of the emotions, 198 f. ; Memory, 123 ff. ; individual 
exercises on, 34 ff. differences in, 78 f. ; influence 
Intellect, types of, 87 f. ; de- of special training of, 241 ; 
fectives in, 88 f. {See also exercises on, 124 ff. 
Reasoning). Mental balance, 95. 
Interests, Chapter V; instinc- Methods, of education, 6; of in- 
tlve, 24; as ends of teaching, fluencc of special training on 
51 ff. ; as means, 54 ff. ; native, general ability, 243 ff ; tests 
52; acquired, 52; inhibition of, 264 ff. 
of, 52 ; development of, 52 f. ; Mind, influence of the body on, 
habit and, 53 ; imitation and, 13 f. 

53; knowledge and, 53; es- Moral training. Chapter XI; 

sential in teaching, 54 ff.; analysis of, 179!; limita- 

and difficulty, 56 f. ; and tions to in schools, 180 ff., 

pleasure, 57; in abstract 184 f.; instincts in, 182; asso- 

thought, 57 f. ; must be in the ciation in, 182 ; partial activ- 

right thing, 58; and expres- ity in, 182; suggestion in, 

sion through material con- 183; school habits and, 185; 

structions, 211 f.; exercises school discipline and, 186 f. ; 

on, 59 ff. specific lessons in, 187 ff. ; or- 
dinary studies and, 189 ff.; 

James, W., 29, 121. geography as, 190 f.; history 

and literature as, 191 f. ; ex- 
Language, as a means of ex- ercises on, 194 ff. 

pression, 208 ff. Motor education, Chapter 

Latin, individual differences in, XIV; equals teaching form 

79 f. and teaching execution. 



219 f. ; principles of teaching 
form in, 220 f. ; imitation in, 
221 ; principles of teaching 
execution in, 222 ff. ; selection 
by resultant satisfaction in, 
222; delayed capacities and, 
223 f. ; apperception in, 224 f. ; 
attention in, 226; self criti- 
cism by pupils, 226 f. ; exer- 
cises on, 228 ff. 

Motor expression, Chapter 
XIII; need of in teaching, 
206; varieties of, 207!; ver- 
bal expression, 208 ff. ; the ac- 
tivities of the arts and indus- 
tries in, 210 ff. ; dangers to be 
avoided in, 212 ff. ; exercises 
on, 215 ff. 

Movement {See motor) ; indi- 
vidual differences in rate of, 

Muscles {See motor) ; exercise 
of, 12 f. 

Natural tendencies {See In- 
stincts and Capacities). 

Neatness, influence of special 
training in, 242. 

Normal children, 68 ff. 

Object lessons, 48. 

Observation, individual differ- 
ences in, 74 f. ; influence of 
special training in, 241. 

Parker and Has well, 158. 
Partial activity, the law of in 

teaching reasoning, 147; in 

moral training, 182. 
Physical activity. Instinct of, 25 ; 

not equivalent to self-ac- 
tivity, 40. 

Physical attitudes, influence of 
on attention, 106 f. ; on re- 
sponses of feeling, 199 f. 

Physical defects, 14 ff. ; remedy- 
ing, 14 f. ; prevention, 16 f. 

Physical education, Chapter II ; 
as an end, 12 f. ; as a means, 
13 f. ; exercises, 17 ff. 

Pleasure, and interests, 57. 

Powers, training of the mental 
{See Formal discipline). 

Process of education, i. 

Psychology and teaching, 7 ff. 

Pugnacity, 27. 

Range of individual differ- 
ences, 72 ff. 

Realism in teaching, 48. 

Reasoning, Chapter X; as se- 
lective thinking, 147 ff. ; the 
abstraction of elements as a 
feature of, 147 ff., 155; veri- 
fication as a feature of, 148 f., 
157 f. ; difficulties in teaching, 
150 f.; comparison and con- 
trast as aids in, 151 f.; in- 
duction and deduction, 154 f.; 
principles of teaching induc- 
tions, 156 ff.; use of types in 
teaching, 158 f. ; formal steps 
of instruction in, 159 f. ; prin- 
ciples of teaching deductions, 
160 ff. ; difficulties in, 160 f. ; 
adaptation of to capacities, 
163 f. ; exercises on, 164 ff. 

Reliance, self, capacity for, 32. 

Responses, classification of, 9. 



Results of teaching {See Test- 

Results of different methods 
{See Testing). 

Rice, J. M., 269. 

School hygiene {See Physical 

Scientific study of teaching, 

Chapter XVI. 
Selection, in teaching reasoning, 

147 ff. 
Self-activity, 39 ff. ; bodily ac- 
tivity and, 40 ; inhibition and, 

Self-reliance, capacity for, 2>^, 
Sense discrimination, influence 

of special training in, 240. 
Sex differences, 96 f. ; in type, 

96 ; in variability, 96 f. 
Sight, defects of, 14 f. 
Skill {See Motor education). 
Smith, Adam, 199. 
Special training, influence of 

on general ability {See 

Formal discipline). 
Specialization of abilities, 33, 

238 ff. 
Spelling, individual differences 

in, 74 f., 83 ; scientific study 

of, 268 ff. 
Squire, C. G., 242. 
Steps of instruction, formal, 

159 f. 
Stimuli, classification of, 8. 
Suggestibility, individual differ- 
ences in, 94. 
Suggestion as a means of moral 

training, i83„ 

Teachers, relation of to higher 
educational authorities, i ff., 

Teaching {See under specific 
headings such as Appercep- 
tion, Attention, Interest). 

Temperament, 94 ff. 

Testing the results of methods, 

264 ff. ; need of science in, 

265 ff. ; the duty of educa- 
tional leaders, 267 f. ; a sam- 
ple of scientific procedure in, 

266 ff. 

Testing the results of particu- 
lar acts of teaching, 257 ff. ; 
importance of, 257 f. ; diffi- 
culty of, 258 f., 260 ; value of, 
259; rules for, 260 ff. 

Thorndike, E. L., 180, 241. 

Thought, children of, 85 f. ; in- 
dividual differences in, 87 ff. 

Tonsils enlarged, 15. 

Training of mental powers 
{See Formal discipline). 

Types, as central tendencies, 
71 ; of general mental con- 
stitution, 85 ff. ; of intellect, 
87 ff.; of will, 92 ff.; of tem- 
perament, 94 ff. ; use of in 
teaching inductions, 158! 

Variability, 68 ff. ; of the sexes, 

96 f. 
Verification as a feature of 

teaching reasoning, 148 ff.,, 

157 f. 
Vision {See Sight). 

Will, types of, 92 ff. 

WOODWORTH, R. S., 241,